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An Incredible Free Entertainment Resource You Might Be Overlooking

Category: Home and Garden

December 4, 2021 — There is a free resource in your town in your town you might be missing out on. One that you can actually tap from your home or phone for instant service. It is called your Library!

A few years back many people predicted that libraries were a thing of the past. That no one will bother going there anymore, thanks to the Internet. Well, a trip to your local library will prove that one a bad call. Libraries today are usually amazingly busy, filled with people of all ages doing all kinds of different things. It reminds us of Mark Twain’s famous comment – “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated!”

Libraries have evolved into much more than loaning books and answering research questions. In this article we will highlight some of the services that you might not know about, things that could both save you money and enrich your life.

Libraries – so much more than books
Yes, you can still go to your local library and check out a book or ask a research question. That hasn’t changed. Your branch might not have as many actual books under their roof as in the past, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get you just about almost anything you want within a very short time. This service is called inter-library loan. Most libraries are partners with their neighbors, if yours doesn’t have what you want, another one will. Reserve the book, either in person or online, and it will be waiting for you soon. This works particularly well for bestsellers.

Here are just some of the services that most libraries offer today:

  • Audiobooks, ebooks, and magazines. You don’t have to even go into your library to take advantage of these offerings – you can access everything with your phone. We have used one of them, Libby, several times and it works great. If a book isn’t available you can reserve a copy. Our local librarian explained how to use the system and it couldn’t be easier.
  • Movies and TV shows. Kanopy showcases more than 30,000 of the world’s best films, including award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, film festival favorites, classic films, and world cinema with collections from Kino Lorber, Music Box Films, Samuel Goldwyn, The Orchard, Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, PBS and thousands of independent filmmakers.
  • Ancestry research. Conduct your genealogical research with Ancestry Library Edition, which is normally available only from library computers. Ancestry is temporarily allowing patrons to use its product from home during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Learn a new language with Mango, an interactive language-learning program complete with an on-the-go app.
  • Financial research. Many libraries have the comprehensive Value Line books and other financial research services. Plus access to Consumer Reports product reviews.
  • Meeting rooms. Does your organization need a neutral place to meet? Most libraries have a variety of spaces for community and club meetings. Tutors find these very useful for meeting with their students.
  • Library of things. This is one of the most interesting new services. Libraries now often loan objects like a cornhole or board game, a telescope, a camera, even a laptop or ipad.
  • Museum passes. Many libraries offer free or discounted passes to your neighborhood museums. Great for visiting grandchildren.
  • Programs of all types. One of the most interesting growth areas for libraries is its programming initiatives. Most libraries have a continuous parade of programs designed for everyone from toddler to retiree. Children’s programs are a great way to entertain visiting grandchildren.
Program list from E.C. Scranton Memorial Library

Of course in addition to all of these services, you can always get research assistance. Whether you want to do it yourself, a trained librarian would be happy to help.

Bottom line

If you haven’t visited your local library lately, you are missing out on an incredible resource. Take a moment to visit yours soon, and be sure to ask a librarian how to use any of these new services.

Comments? Are you using your local library? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

Posted by Admin on December 3rd, 2021


  1. In Saint Louis, Missouri my local library allows me to print up to 15 pages a month, no charge. Since I have no printer at home, this is a great benefit for me.

    by Maryann — December 4, 2021

  2. My son has been working overseas in a developing country and is an avid reader but doesn’t have access to any English language books. My library has a program called cloudLibrary that allows remote access to books and magazines anywhere you have internet. I set up an account for him and he can “check out” books to read on his computer or phone from anywhere he may be.

    by LS — December 4, 2021

  3. Our town even has a “Medical Library” that lends all kinds of equipment – walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, shower chairs, etc. It is housed in the town Rec. Center but it is next to the library! We have used it several times – what a wonderful thing to have!

    by HEF — December 4, 2021

  4. Great article! One my favorite things about public libraries is how they can customize their resources for this specific community – if you don’t see something you think they should have, make a suggestion! Librarians love responding to feedback and are great creative problem solvers. Cheers!

    by Sunnie — December 6, 2021

  5. I use the PL at least once a week, often more, for a variety of reasons. This week I reserved a study room three times to write Christmas cards. I brought my iPad to play holiday music quietly, and wrote out my cards to send to friends and family. I get too distracted at home.

    by Elaine — December 9, 2021

  6. I still read mostly hard-copy, not internet copy. The blue light is not good for our aging eyes. I prefer to keep blue light reading to a minimum.

    by Marilyn — December 10, 2021

  7. True; I just enjoy going to my local library; sitting down & perusing the local & Big City Newspapers. Then going thru the Book Aisle’s by Alphabet. Usually find a couple of Books that I might enjoy. Am there a couple of hours every week. Gives HRH time to think about things that would enhance my quality of Life.
    Yes; I enjoy going to Library as it seems to improve my quality of Life!!

    by BillyBogey — December 11, 2021

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