Public libraries are best known for providing access to free books, but did you know that today’s libraries have so much more to offer than just books? Many libraries across the country now double as art galleries, learning centers and concert venues — all of which are completely free for the public.
Is your wallet or pocketbook lacking a library card? Check out the following 10 reasons to get a free library card, and benefit from freebies other than books.
1. Free Books
This reason may be obvious, but did you know you can access books that aren’t at your library? If books you want aren’t on the shelves, request to have them sent to your location from another library. If the book isn’t available at all, you can often request that the library system purchase that book so you can borrow it.
2. Free Internet Access
If your home internet service goes out, or your computer crashes and you need to get online, head to the library. Most libraries offer free Wi-Fi and access to computers for set blocks of time.
3. Free Art Exhibits
Larger libraries often have space for art galleries, where local artists can feature and display their work. If you’re an artist, ask about the possibility of having your art displayed. If you’re someone who simply appreciates art, spend an afternoon browsing all the art galleries at local libraries.
4. Free Classes
Some libraries offer free classes on subjects that range from gardening, to arts and crafts, to beginner computer use for seniors. Ask your library about free classes you can take; you might even make new friends who share your same interests!
5. Free Magazines and Newspapers
Do you pay for print newspapers or magazine subscriptions? If so, read them for free at the library instead. If you pay for online news and magazine subscriptions, consider cancelling them; the library offers free access to websites and databases with paywalls.
6. Free Job Search Services
When you need help finding a job, libraries offer free job search services that can help you land your next big position. Ask the librarian about available job search services, which may include free workshops on how to ace interviews, how to improve your resume and how to build your LinkedIn profile.
7. Free CDs and DVDs
Most libraries offer access to CDs and DVDs you can borrow just like books. If you still haven’t gone digital with streaming services and downloads, ask about the library’s CD and DVD collection. Some libraries even have vinyl records for those seeking more nostalgic forms of media.
8. Free Sheet Music
Sheet music for piano, guitar and other instruments can often be costly, and difficult to find. Ask your library about free sheet music you can borrow, or simply make copies so you don’t have to purchase your own.
9. Free Storytime
If you have children, take them to the library and allow them to participate in storytime. Most libraries offer free storytime, free interactive games and other activities that get kids excited about reading and learning.
10. Free Scanning Services
If you need information from a book or document you can’t borrow such as an atlas or thesaurus, most libraries have scanners that save the documents for you on a flash drive. This allows you to access the files later on from your home computer.
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