10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Library
Libraries are unique places to build community, focus on work, and, of course, read! When in doubt, ask your librarian! They’re not just in charge of taking care of a building full of books; they’re trained professionals! You need a degree to become a librarian — it’s a science that requires precise research knowledge, data-collection expertise, and managerial skills. If there’s something you can’t find, your librarian can guide you toward the information you’re looking for!
1. Embrace Your Inner Bookworm
Arguably the most famous purpose of libraries is their distribution of free books. Libraries offer reading materials for various audiences, age groups, and community members. Plus, librarians always make sure reading remains as accessible as possible with eBooks and audiobooks.
If your library doesn’t carry the book you’re looking for; you can request the novel from your librarian! If you’re a fellow bibliophile, obtain a library card and dive into the plethora of reading materials available at your local library!
Your donations help support libraries across the country.
2. Explore Different Mediums
Many people think of libraries and associate them with books. While this is undoubtedly a significant focus of libraries, they also let people interact with several types of mediums. Libraries allow people to borrow DVDs, CDs, and video games for free, welcoming community members with diverse interests.
Since 2017, the New York Public Library has allowed patrons to use a free online streaming service called Kanopy. As digital streaming services rise in popularity, libraries continue following modern trends while offering a wide selection of services for all community members.
3. Use Free Computers and Printers
Libraries are more than buildings full of books; they’re community centers. Many people rely on libraries for accessible equipment like community computers and printers. Some public libraries even let patrons check out laptops or handheld tablets if they prefer portable devices.
These allow individuals to take advantage of public Wi-Fi or print out essential tax documents. For rural communities or neighborhoods with a high percentage of financial insecurity, libraries are crucial for the well-being of all residents.
4. Make the Library Your Workspace
The global pandemic has contributed to an increased number of remote workers, leaving some people without access to basic office supplies or a quiet space to work. Whether you’re a college student, remote worker, or working parent, your public library will always be a peaceful and accessible working space. Some public libraries even offer community study rooms or quiet areas catered to focused workers.
5. Obtain Access to Expensive Databases
Are you trying to conduct research for an assignment or fun and keep running into paywalls? Your local public library can help! Most libraries have access to all online databases necessary for research and public education. With libraries, helpful academic databases like JSTOR are fully accessible and free to use for all patrons. Instead of paying for your subscription, visit your local public library for your next research project!
6. Attend Affordable Classes
Did you know that public libraries offer classes that are usually free? Look at your library’s calendar and explore what they offer! Many libraries host classes on various topics, skills, and interests, some of which don’t relate to reading. Learn how to crochet, garden, or cook a new recipe! Otherwise, attend a librarian-hosted book club or participate in creative writing workshops.
7. Expand Your Career
Many public libraries offer affordable career counseling opportunities. Let a professional look at your resume and provide application support free of charge! Plus, if you’re an up-and-coming small business owner, you may not have the financial resources to rent out an entire commercial space. Instead, utilize your local library’s community rooms to help your business grow.
Sign the pledge to vote for libraries!
8. Get Involved with Your Community
Libraries are vital for the community, especially in areas with high percentages of financial insecurity. Your local library is a great place to start if you want to get involved. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities at your local library. Your librarian can refer you to several other nonprofit organizations needing support. By supporting your local public library, you’re helping the entire community!
9. Research Anything
You might be surprised to learn that libraries sometimes work as museums. Specific libraries specialize in storing and preserving important historical documents, potentially dating back centuries!
Take a closer look at your library’s inventory and determine if they carry historical documents and archives. If they don’t offer public access to these documents on their shelves, your librarian undoubtedly keeps them safe for preservation. Ask your librarian about historical town documents if you’re a history buff. You might be surprised by what you find out!
10. Ask Your Librarian Questions
When in doubt, ask your librarian! They’re not just in charge of taking care of a building full of books; they’re trained professionals! You need a degree to become a librarian — it’s a science that requires precise research knowledge, data-collection expertise, and managerial skills. If there’s something you can’t find, your librarian can guide you toward the information you’re looking for!