Oh, the Fun to be Had!
Libraries aren’t just for hard work and business. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind but libraries can provide hours of entertainment to community members through the free resources they offer, community partnerships, and fun programming. Public libraries exist at the center of their communities and are always looking for ways to reach out to all types of individuals so that there is something for everyone. There’s plenty of creative ideas from library staff and entertainment that can be accessed for free with just a library card. Form programs for all ages and interests to passes, gear, and experiences you can check out from the library, it’s the best way to get going again as Americaa opens back up.
The next time you’re looking for ideas or needing entertainment to supply your night of fun or relaxation, look no further than your local library.
Library cards can be used for more than book checkouts. Many libraries have partnerships with companies that give library patrons subscriptions to streaming services and magazines. Common services include Kanopy, IndieFlix, Acorn TV, and Stingray Qello. These services include everything from Sesame Street episodes to documentaries to foreign films. You are even able to watch musical performances from around the world.
COVID conditions this past year have even opened up more entertainment options for the public. Many companies are extending free trials or complimentary access to those stuck at home. Heights Library highlighted many of these on their site. For example, HBO is offering 500hours of subscription-free content, Sling TV has two weeks of free trial, and many avenues of live theater and musical performance are streaming new performances weekly. This means you can catch new plays every Thursday from The National Theatre in London on their YouTube channel and Metropolitan Operas through their site right from the comfort of your own home.
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Passes to Community Activities
A library card is also your all-access pass to lots of fun activities around the community. Museums, science centers, zoos, theaters, and other cultural entertainment opportunities are something that can come at a low cost or even free with a library card.
The Santa Clara County Library District has curated a cool activity pass for its patrons called Discover & Go. This is a virtual pass that lets library users reserve admission tickets to over 50 attractions in the area. It allows members of the community to reserve passes based on their zip code and hold two active reservations at a time. All users need to do is either print off a physical pass to use or keep a mobile pass on their phone for entry.
There are endless opportunities for entertainment included in the Discover & Go program. A full list can be found on the library’s website. These include museums of history, art museums, botanical gardens, wildlife centers, and all types of topic-specific museums.
Continuing Education In Fun Settings
Learning can also be a form of entertainment too. People have endless curiosities and it only makes sense that the library is the place that connects them to explore the world. In addition to books which are the classic go-to for learning, the library also offers free classes to community members either directly or through subscription partnerships.
Those interested in learning new languages or computer skills can use their library card to access digital classes that can be taken at their leisure. These cards give them access to programs like DigitalLearn and Pronunciator which provide basic classes for those who are ready to learn. There’s also plenty of options online through journal databases and universities. There are plenty of free Ivy League courses to explore covering anything from science to humanities and JSTOR is offering over 6,000 articles to read for free through the summer.
Creative Ways to Make Learning Fun
Libraries all over have also created their own innovative events and activities for the community. These are geared towards families, students, and other members of the community to make learning fun.
The Arapahoe Library goes on tech roadshows to make emerging technology accessible to everyone. Families are able to have fun with virtual reality, drones, robots, and other interesting and interactive gadgets. The Cleveland Public Library hosts an art lab that doubles as a space for interactive storytelling and kids are able to make artwork related to celebrations or storybook themes. The Sacramento Public Library created an exciting fairy scavenger hunt that involves clue-solving around local businesses. This community-wide event brings everyone together for a fun-filled adventure while also highlighting small businesses and library resources.
Libraries are always coming up with new ideas and adapting to situations that come up. Their focus is not based solely on quiet reading time but also includes resourceful and creative ways to get everyone involved. Libraries offer their patrons opportunities to socialize, explore, and get away from the hard work of their day.