A summer spent in the library is a bookworm's paradise. But you don't to be an avid reader to enjoy the benefits libraries offer. Access to boundless entertainment resources, news sources, specialty classes, and more are free to library card holders in many communities.
With a library card, you can:
1. Explore your literary interests for free. Library cards place thousands of books at your fingertips, presenting the opportunity to read your favorite works and dabble in something new. Whether you discover a new love or hate what you find, exploring unknown literature at the library doesn't cost a cent.
2. Check out more than just books. Libraries give you free access to a variety of valuable resources, often including magazines, newspapers, internet access, DVDs, music or books on CD, sheet music, and more.
3. Attend free classes. The type and frequency of classes may depend upon the size and location of your library, but can range in topic from language to computers to yoga.
4. Participate in AOA's summer reading challenge with an unlimited supply of reading material. You still have nearly a month to complete the challenge! Visit our website for more details.
5. Borrow eBooks. To keep up with technology, an increasing number of libraries lend eBooks to their readers. If you've joined the ranks of the tech-savvy, check with your local library to see if and how they loan eBooks to library card holders.
6. Access online databases. Many public libraries provide access to subscription databases where you can locate peer-reviewed journals, encyclopedias, and other resources which come in handy when the school year rolls around.
7. Ask the experts. Full of knowledge and a willingness to help, librarians are trained to research and help readers locate items on a shelf, within databases, and more.
8. Pursue academic assistance. Whether you seek a librarian's guidance, a tutor, or college prep courses, libraries are filled with people who can help. Take advantage of additional instruction by familiarizing yourself with your local library's tutorial resources and free courses.
9. Receive discounts at local attractions. Some libraries partner with local zoos, museums, or art galleries to provide discounted admission to card holders. Others purchase a pass or two for card holders to checkout as they would a library book.
10. Participate in after school or summer programs. Summer reading programs seem to be a staple at libraries, but many hold additional events for children throughout the summer and school year. Ask your local library for a list of seasonal events, author visits, and other fun, educational activities hosted throughout the year.
Obtaining a library card is simple, too. In most cases, you can visit your local library with a form of identification that confirms you are a local resident and apply on the spot. Children under a certain age will likely need parental consent to apply. Check with your local library for specific requirements.