My son and I have spent many an hour at the local library over the last several years. We mainly visited Arapahoe Library District branches, and in the process of searching for every book ever written about science and critters, we stumbled across some great resources. In honor of National Library week “Unlimited possibilities @ your library®,” here are some things that we discovered and that you might not know about:
Technology and Gadgets
Many districts rent out devices including: Kindles, GPS, iPads, and more! You can even book time with a librarian for tech support on common gadgets. The resources vary by library. We found technology studios at some libraries where you can book time to record music and make movies or just make funny poses in front of the green screen like my husband and son did. Visit your district website to see what your library offers. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, visit the library in person to ask questions. They love talking about all the cool stuff you can do there!
Clubs and Events
Many libraries host meetings for clubs. There are clubs for kids, teens, adults, seniors– you name it. I expected that they would have book clubs, but I didn’t realize they had so many different kinds. For instance, my husband found a graphic novel club for adults, and we have attended “Bad Movie Night” to watch goofy movies and laugh out loud at the silliness. You can look at your library’s website or visit a branch to see what types of clubs they have (non-fiction, specific subject, etc.) They usually meet once or twice a month.
Teen Game Night
Arapahoe Library District hosts gaming nights for teens. My son went to a few of them and got to play video and computer games with other kids from the community. The kids get to hang out with some great staff members and have lots of fun (no parents allowed).
I learned how to use online databases in college, but I didn’t know that the library district had so many subscriptions to some great online resources free for our use! In addition to the traditional research databases, Arapahoe library district has subscriptions to some other great services such as:
- Treehouse: kids and adults can learn computer programming (we will be using this over the summer!)
- IndieFlix: watch independent films, shorts, and documentaries from around the world
- Lynda.com: learn how to use various computer programs through instructional videos
- Ancestry: census records, birth and death indexes, military records, etc. (must be at a branch to access)
Can’t find a book? Learn to use Prospector, the inter-library loan system. If you look for a title at the library computer stations or online, and your library does not have it, you can request to have it delivered from another branch or district. Several libraries belong to this system, including colleges and out of state districts.
Most of our experience is with the Arapahoe Library district. You can find what district you live in here. Click on the links for your district or others near you to find what resources and fun things await you and your family.
Do you know of a cool library resource? Please share in the comments below!
Some counties have online learning programs as well. The programs at my county libraries offer a number of online classes from beginner to intermediate Excel, Word and Adobe to basic office skills and learning new languages. The list of different resources, programs and classes are quite numerous. The library staff will be able to show you how to access these great tools (you do have to have a library membership).
That’s really good to know. Thanks!
That is great to know, Princess! Thank you!
Thanks for these great resources. I had no idea you could rent all those devices!
You’re welcome, Liz! I assume different districts might vary in what they offer, but there are definitely more things available for our use that a lot of us realize.