Every library is different. That means that you get a unique experience anytime you walk into one. The budgets, the people, these things all impact the different services available at each library and branch. This list is by no means exhaustive and will by no means apply to every library.
If you’re curious about what services your library offers you can check out their website, their literature, or talk to a librarian! They’ll be happy to help.
-The Gigantic List Of Library Services Your Library MIGHT Offer-
Programs, events, and activities, exhibits and exhibitions
Your library has its own schedule for all different ages. Be it storytime for the kiddos, yoga for the adults, or author events for everyone. Check out your library’s calendar, they should have one on their website.
Overdrive, Hoopla, RB, digital media of all kinds from audiobooks to comics, magazines to music. Check out what your library offers. They may even have library ecards for out of district folks.
Many libraries have a partnership with others in the area and will swap materials back and forth between them. Use it to your advantage!
Friends of the Library Sales
Often libraries will sell off withdraw copies to help fund library programs and new books. Whether they do it monthly or less, keep an eye out for these sales to get cheap books and help out.
Some libraries sell withdrawn and donated copies all the time in their own bookstores. My childhood library has one in their basement, open two or three days a week.
Loaning of toys and games or stuffed animals
Before I left for college my library started a wonderful program where patrons could check out tops and stuffed animals like they did books. This was great for the underprivileged kids in our area. Since then other libraries have done the same.
It’s not just for kids. Many libraries have multiple rounds of summer reading now. One for kids, one for teens, and one for adults. Take part and you may even win some cool prizes.
Libraries all over the country have mobile libraries called bookmobiles. Some aren’t even on buses. I’ve seen ones that uses horses or pack animals to carry around a mobile library. These animal based bookmobiles are rare and pretty quirky but they’re worth checking out just for the fun. The bus type are common and pack a lot into a small space.
Free passes to local attractions
Museums, parks, zoos, aquariums, cultural attractions, educational attractions, libraries often have partnerships with these institutions and can offer free or discounted passes. You’ll have to check with your library to see what, if anything, they have available.
GED Prep and Adult Literacy Classes
Job and Career Support
-Resumes and Cover Letters
Librarians and outside instructors teach and help with a wide range of career and job support forms. Check your library’s schedules or inquire as the reference desk if you need any help with this.
-Word and Office Suite
-Coding (CSS, HTML)
Whether you’re young or old there’s always more to learn about computers as they advance.
Technology suites and equipment
-Copiers, fax machines, free use computers, microforms
Some may even have the following advanced technology available for use. Cuyahoga Country Library has special innovation centers for these:
-Video recording studios
-robotics, t shirt presses, large format printers, craft cutters, engravers, coding software, drawing tablets, embroidery machines for small business and public use.
Homework and tutoring help
Meeting and Community rooms
Some libraries have their own passport center. Bypass the post office and pop in here instead if your library has one.
Writer’s centers, programs, groups, and software.
Need a writer’s group. Enquire at your help desks for opportunities and times.
Trained help with….
-Tax help, classes, and forms
-Help with applications for money, food, medical and childcare assistance.
-Citizenship exam prep
-English as a Second Language Courses
These are only some of the services libraries can provide outside the sending of standard library materials. These of course depend on budget and access but I’d be willing to bet that there are several services in your library that you didn’t know existed. Check your library’s website or talk to a librarian to see what you library offers.
What’s your favorite thing your library offers? Share in the comments below.
From one library lover to another,