Guest post by Sarah Anne of Sarah Anne Carter:
I love to read. I love the library. If I had to buy every book I wanted to read, I would very quickly go broke!
My children are now voracious readers, too, and we visit our local library at least twice a month. While we’re most often there for books, we’ve discovered several other resources the library offers that are often overlooked, but are still free!
Libraries often have a section of magazines you can read while you’re at the library. With Overdrive, a library app that you log on to with your library card, you can also read magazines in the comfort of your own home.
The app can be accessed on smartphones, tablets and computers through a Web site. Magazines such as Mental Floss, Glamour, Homespun and Discover are available through Overdrive. To read them, you will have to download Barnes & Noble’s free Nook app, but that can also be downloaded to smartphones, tablets and computers.
Our library has a large selection of DVDs that you can check out for a week. They also recently started a Quick-Pick selection of recently-released DVDs that you can check out for two days and you can put them on hold.
Overdrive also has streaming videos you can check out for five days. There are movies, TV shows, exercise videos, documentaries and children’s videos.
3. Meeting space
Almost every library offers a meeting space and there are two ways you can use it – go to events held there or hold your own events.
Libraries host events from book club and writing groups to essential oil classes and history talks – and a bit of everything in between. If you have a special interest, expertise or skill, think about using the library’s meeting space to host a class. You’ll be able to advertise the event to everyone who visits the library and possibly reach people you normally wouldn’t reach.
Keeping tabs of events at the library is a good idea, too. You can learn a lot by going to events and classes at the library. We recently learned about African penguins where my children got to touch one and heard a talk from a Native-American re-enactor who discussed Native American history in our local region.
Books on CD are about the only way we survive long road trips as a family. I can check out several children or young adult books. I can also use Overdrive to download audiobooks to my and my husband’s smartphones so we can listen to books, too.
If your child has a device that has apps, you can download audiobooks through Overdrive to that device. This can be helpful if you have children in various reading stages.
The people who work at the library are usually wonderful, very knowledgeable people. When one of my daughters was stuck reading a series over and over again, I talked to our children’s librarian for suggestions of other books that might entice my child. Her advice worked wonders – she knew a book that was the series’ author’s favorite as a child and my daughter read that one next.
Librarians know about new books coming out and can make recommendations based on what you like. They also know who many of the experts are in the community as they often come through for events or sponsor library events. When in doubt about a topic, ask a librarian!
What else do you use the library for besides checking out books? Share your library tips here!
Sarah Anne Carter often won summer reading programs at her library as a child. She is working on her first novel, but when she is not writing, she is reading. Find book reviews and a free adult summer reading Bingo printable on her blog, Sarah Anne Carter.
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