Extracurricular Activities / Learning at Home / Summer Learning / Technology / Ages 2-24

How to Make the Most of Your Local Library

On a scale of 1-10, how well do you know all the wonderful things your library has to offer? If you’re only checking out books, you’re missing out. Read on for our pro tips on making the most of the library.

Libraries are the best. They offer free books and internet access. They’re cool in the summer and cozy in the winter. And they’re staffed by incredibly knowledgeable (and usually very kind!) humans who want to help you find what you need. What’s not to love?

If you don’t already have a library account, pop in and sign up today! (Usually you’ll need some kind of proof of address, like a utility bill.) But even if you’re already a regular library user, there might still be a few of the library’s best-kept secrets that you haven’t yet explored.

Here are our top tips for making the most of your local library:


Take advantage of the free entertainment for your children.

Sing-alongs and storytime for little ones! Book clubs and movie screenings for big kids. Even author visits and arts and crafts workshops for all ages. And while activities for preschoolers tend to require some adult participation, activities for bigger kids are usually drop-off friendly. (Yes, that means it’s free, safe, and high-quality childcare—especially if your child is able to walk to the library by themselves after school.)


Download their e-book and audiobook apps for virtual borrowing.

You don’t even have to set foot in your library to take advantage of what they have to offer. When you download your library system’s e-book and audiobook platforms onto your phone or tablet, you’ll be able to instantly check out books and get started reading or listening.


Get your child their own account.

Most libraries allow children to open their own accounts (usually linked to an adult’s) starting around age 5. Getting their first library card is a big milestone for an early reader. Celebrate the occasion by letting them check out as many books as they want!


Borrow way more than just books.

You probably already know you can borrow DVDs and CDs from the library, in addition to books. But it gets better. Many libraries offer guest passes for local museums, zoos, and aquariums, too. (Ask your librarian how to reserve a pass for a particular date and time.) You may also be able to check out puzzles, games, and toys—an awesome way to refresh your at-home entertainment without buying new stuff.


Lean on the library for your own needs, too.

Libraries offer so much great stuff for kids, but they’re here to support you, too. Look out for adult learning opportunities, like book clubs, parenting groups, and language lessons. And if you’re in need of something—from a warm winter coat to access to the school registration website—your librarian may well be able to help you find it. Plus, libraries often offer free giveaways of anything from household supplies to at-home Covid tests. You never know what you’ll find!

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