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5 Things You Never Knew You Could Do at the Library

5 Things You Never Knew You Could Do at the Library

Yes, libraries are great places check out books to read (for free!), but most libraries across the country offer dozens of different services that you might not even know about. Take a look at this list and head off to your local library for a free movie night, concert, or craft lesson!

1. Learn a new language

Most public libraries have foreign language dictionaries, CDs, and software designed to help you learn a new language. You can check them out to study at home, or ask about bilingual conversation groups. These fun groups are especially common for people trying to learn Spanish, or Spanish-speakers hoping to improve their English. If you’re looking for something more exotic, check out any language books on Italian, Norwegian, or Chinese.

2. Watch a movie

Libraries often sponsor movie nights, where you can bring a snack and settle in to watch a great film. Children’s movie nights and classic movie nights are very common. If you have a special interest in a certain type of movie, like science fiction films, ask about organizing an event featuring one of your favorites.

3. Attend a concert

Love music? Lots of librarians do, too! Keep an eye out for local musicians that may play concerts at the library. Don’t expect a rock band –after all, libraries are pretty quiet places. But jazz, folk, and classical groups can often be found near the stacks on weekend nights, especially if your local library has a dedicated community room or event space where a little noise is allowed.

4. Make a craft

Some of the most popular library events are craft nights, where people from the community come to share their skills in knitting, scrapbooking, or photography. Craft nights are great seasonal events as well. You can learn to make a beautiful Christmas ornament or an Easter basket, and pick up a few books while you’re there!

5. Learn to use a Kindle or a Nook

These days, e-books are nearly as popular as print books. If you’re feeling left out because you don’t have an e-reader, head over to the library and see if it is possible to check out e-readers. Many libraries have a limited number of these devices to lend out for a few days at a time. If you already have your own e-reader, ask about how to borrow e-books. Most libraries now have the ability to lend out digital copies of certain books.

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Photo credit: Friar's Balsam

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4:23PM PST on Feb 27, 2013

i LOVE the library

4:36PM PST on Dec 24, 2012


2:56PM PST on Dec 7, 2012


8:52AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

Thank you Anna, for Sharing this!

6:56PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

I adore libraries....I am a regular visitor. I love US libraries even more....yours are just better than ours in the UK!

12:10PM PST on Dec 2, 2012


6:46PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

I learned something that libraries now have Kindles.

12:38PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

As an avid library goer and supporter, I was disappointed to discover, upon moving to my area, that the local library charges $50 for a library card if you do not live within the town limits. This completely defeats the entire purpose behind a library and makes it accessible to those of a specific socioeconomic grouping.

I have had to make a stance and not support this branch - which goes against everything I stand for as I believe literature should be accessible to all individuals and also readily encouraged.

11:07PM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Knew it.

3:01PM PST on Nov 30, 2012

our library had its funding cut recently :(

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