Top Reasons to Visit Your Public Library
Your local library offers more than just books
Ah, the local public library. Say that phrase, "public library" and you might conjure up the mental image of a silent building filled with dusty tomes, monitored by a stern-looking woman who keeps hushing you. Who wants to spend their free time there? Hopefully, you will, because your local public library offers services that you may not know anything about. When times are tight, and library resources are free, you can't afford to overlook the benefits your local library has in store for you.
Is your own PC on the fritz? Is your printer broken? Do you not own a computer at all? Your local library can help. Most library systems have public computers that can be used by anybody who gets a local library card. You can also bring in your own laptop and use the free wi-fi services your local branch provides. While you're at it, check out the 001- 030 area of the nonfiction section, and you will find books that will give you lots of information about how to use your computer, how to fix your computer, how to make best use of twitter, facebook and all manner of other internet sites.
Do you need to write a resume? Are you looking for a job? Do you need to brush up on your employment-related skills to improve your chances of getting that job? Ask your friendly local librarian for help. Many library systems offer classes on resume writing, office software and job hunting. Even if your library does not offer those classes, chances are that a member of the staff can refer you to local organizations who can help you.
Kindles, nooks, and other e-readers have become the newest, hottest method of reading popular bestselling fiction. Your local public library has kept up with the e-book trend, and if you ask you may find that your nearest branch has electronic books for checkout that you can download directly to your e-reader or PC. You may be able to check out an e-book just as you would a regular book, and keep it for specified length of time, and some systems, including the San Diego Library System in California, will allow you to check out the actual eReader device as well.
Movies and Music - Would you like to have a family movie night, but you just can't afford the high price of a ticket? Have you been dying to listen to the Grammy - winning Adele CD, but you don't have the cash to buy it? Check out the movies and CDs at your local library! Nearly every library has an extensive collection of CDs, Blu-rays and DVDs for checkout, and if you don't see the latest blockbuster on the shelf, staff can put you on a waiting list. You will be notified when a copy of the title you really want is available.
Are you looking for something to do? Take a look at the calendar of events for your local library. You may find that an amazing musician has been hired to give a free concert, or that they've booked an expert speaker on your favorite topic. You may discover that your library has a chess club, a sewing circle, even a fitness class. Some libraries offer free film screenings. And if you have kids, you've got to check out the library to take advantage of the puppet shows, the story times, and the guest performers that are almost certain to be offered this summer. There's no better place to go than your local library when you are looking for inexpensive ways to give children educational and enriching experiences.
One of your best local art galleries may be inside your own local library. Public libraries often hang exhibits celebrating local artists and sculptors, and sometimes guest artists of great renown will allow their works to be shown for a short time as part of a touring exhibition. So art fans, head to your local library and admire the view!
Looking for a chance to give back? The local library is always in need of reliable volunteers to help carry out all the free services they offer to the public. You may be asked to help run a children's program, or you may serve as a greeter. You may help keep the library shelves in order, or aid in fundraising campaigns. Join the Friends of your local library system to see how you can help.
Are you convinced yet? This article barely scratches the surface; there are hundreds of library systems nation-wide, and the variety of things they have to offer is much too broad to cover here. Check out your local library today; you will find a world of resources that you never expected to see just waiting for you.