Why You Should Put Down the Device and Pick Up the Library Card

Americans average over 7 hours per day of screen time! Libraries can help you and your family detach from devices.

Cutting down on screen time allows for more time to enjoy meaningful experiences with others.

The rise of smart devices and the internet have brought us together in many ways, but they’ve harmed us in countless others. While we can communicate with people anywhere in the world, we often neglect to speak with those right beside us.

Not to mention, these devices have had a notable negative impact on our attention spans, especially among younger users. Among these younger audiences, the natural result has been decreased academic outcomes and even increased rates of anxiety and depression. 

The best solution to these issues is to encourage children to spend less time online and more time in the real world alongside their families. The problem, though, is that many children don’t realize the negative impact that devices have on them and aren’t willing to put those devices down.

For many parents, getting their child to log off is a fight every single time, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is turn logging off into a fun and engaging experience. Of course, there are few better places to do this than at your local public library.


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If you or your children are creative types, check to see if your library offers a makerspace! Makerspaces provide a wide range of hobby tools you may not have access to at home, including 3D printers, laser cutters and engravers, green screens, recording studios, and even equipment to learn programming.

This means anyone can walk in and try something new, allowing them to discover new interests, passions, and future careers. Visiting the local library’s makerspace is a great way to spend an afternoon, and being part of the library, it is completely free.

Live Artist Performances

Though most wouldn’t think of libraries as a venue for live performances, more and more libraries are booking performers for visits. These performances are as enrapturing as they are diverse, with anyone from musicians to magicians making an appearance.

Of course, these performances offer more than just entertainment. They’re also an up-close-and-personal look into the lives and careers of these performers. Many of them will stick around after the show to talk about their jobs, answer questions, and teach kids how they can get started with a new creative art. This encourages kids not only to log off at the library but also to find offline hobbies at home.


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Live Animal Visits

For our readers with animal-loving children, the library has something for you as well, believe it or not. Some libraries are known to schedule visits from therapy dogs and local animal sanctuaries, giving kids a chance to see and interact with a variety of fascinating creatures. 

Whether they’re reading to one of the therapy pups or admiring a rare falcon from the animal sanctuary, these animal visits are a great way to shift your child’s focus from their screens to the wonders of the real world.

Tabletop Gaming Events

Even though video games have taken the entertainment industry by storm, there’s still a place for tabletop games in all of our hearts. Many people still consider themselves active fans of tabletop games and have formed groups and communities around their shared enthusiasm. 

Libraries have started hosting board game events for these tabletop fans, presenting visitors with the perfect opportunity to meet and socialize with fellow librarygoers. If you consider yourself a board game enthusiast, give one of these events a look!

If you’d like to learn more about the ways you and your kiddos can engage with your community at the library, check out our EveryLibrary Medium page today!



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