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.
Photo credit: Friar's Balsam