Free Family Fun at the Library
Get your family involved with affordable library events and resources!
When people think of libraries, book borrowing is usually the first resource to come to mind. Many people are surprised to find out how many services libraries provide. Consider your local library for affordable activities, resources, and educational opportunities. Here are some of the most common family activities offered by US libraries.
High-Speed Internet and Electronics
Most public libraries have high-speed internet and access to vital electronics like computers. These often coincide with basic office technology like printers and copy machines. Suppose you can’t access these resources at home. In that case, your public library should have these available with a library card. Your children can play PC games while you complete necessary tasks that require specific electronics.
Although literary materials are entertaining on their own, libraries offer so much more! You can check out video games, board games, movies, and music. Many libraries also have free streaming services like Hoopla, including movies, TV shows, and music albums. You can rent a plethora of DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs for your family to enjoy without paying a cent. Instead of investing in expensive subscription services, utilize free entertainment at your local library!
Storytime and Adolescent Resources
Storytime is a great way to get your children interested in reading while also getting a chance to take a break. Certain libraries offer varied storytime sessions tailored to specific needs and families. For example, sensory storytimes allow for more movement and flexibility if your child is neurodivergent or prefers stimulation. For older children and adolescents, explore your library’s teen sections or programs. Some librarians even specialize in young adults, allowing for a more personalized approach to their interests.
You might be surprised to learn that libraries offer free, unique classes. Examples include fitness courses like Zumba, yoga, and martial arts. Your local library may even offer meditation and mindfulness practices. If fitness isn’t your thing, there may be gardening, cooking, sewing, and craft classes.
Lifelong Learning Materials
Interested in teaching yourself something new? Your local public library can help! Premium subscription services like LinkedIn, Ancestry, and Masterclass can get expensive. However, your library may provide these resources for free with a library card. Other examples include Mango Languages. Also, most public libraries have complete access to research databases like JStor for people needing free research materials.
Adult Education Opportunities
Life gets complicated, meaning your journey may look slightly different than someone else’s. If so, your local public library can support you and your education goals. Although librarians work hard to develop children’s reading literacy, some adults also need it. They may even offer services that help people earn their high school diplomas. Some libraries may also provide career certification programs or scholarships to eligible patrons.
Summer and After-School Programs
Looking for more ways to spend time with your family before the summer ends? Look no further than your local public library! Many libraries also host summer events, including summer reading programs that enhance children’s literacy skills. If your family is experiencing a period of financial insecurity, your local library may serve free meals to children who get free lunch at school. With that in mind, when your children start classes again, utilize your library’s free after-school programs!
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According to a nationwide survey, around 95 percent of public libraries provide free homework help. Adding to the convenience, many libraries also offer these services online. Instead of investing in expensive tutoring sessions, your children can get the same support for free at your local public library. Librarians are also happy to support struggling readers through various programs to improve literacy for all ages.
When in doubt, browse through your local library’s event calendar. There are always family-friendly activities that go beyond reading and school-related support. Some examples of fun library-hosted events include movie nights, local author readings, and used book sales. Adults may enjoy unique opportunities like financial management or computer literacy courses. At the end of the day, if you’re still looking for something to do or have specific questions about your library’s calendar, talk to your librarian!
Books, E-books, and Audiobooks
Libraries will always offer books, e-books, and audiobooks for free. For families with avid readers, this can be incredibly helpful. Borrowing books from the library significantly saves money and contributes to a healthier planet. Plus, instead of paying for a subscription, resources like Libby can help you borrow audiobooks from your local library for free. Talk to your librarian about getting library cards for each family member so they can enjoy everything libraries offer!
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