I’m always shocked to hear about friends and family who don’t have a library card, because it’s one of the first things I get when I move to a new town. There are so many free things local libraries offer to the community, so it baffles me to hear that people aren’t utilizing them.
After all, if you’re paying local taxes, you’re paying to have this resource available to you!
The thousands of free books are obviously a big selling point. It’s better for your wallet and the environment to borrow a book from a library vs. buying a new book every time you want to read something. But free books are far from the only things you can get at your library!
The resources and programs available vary system to system, but if you do a little digging I bet you’ll be pretty astounded with what you find!
First of all, if you’re too busy (or, let’s be honest, too lazy) to swing by your local branch to pick up a book, you can check out ebook or audiobook versions of your favorite titles and have them delivered to you instantly! It’s great for the Sunday afternoon when you need a new book but the library is already closed (speaking from experience). Hello, instant gratification!
Plus, many libraries also have movies available for check-out. You can go in to get a DVD, or see if your library system is a member of Kanopy, which is basically like a free Netflix for documentaries and more artsy films.
But my favorite part of my local library? The events.
When I first moved to Kalamazoo, I looked at the library system to find events where I could hopefully meet people in the area. And honestly, I haven’t looked anywhere else yet because Kalamazoo Public Library has so many free events that it’s basically all I have time for.
When I first moved here, I participated in a 6-week seminar for employees of nonprofits who are or want to be managers. For free.
And then I joined a book club all about racism. For free.
And then I discovered Overdue Brew, a series of events in partnership with local breweries where people can learn about the Kalamazoo beer scene. For free.
In fact, I’m going to an Overdue Brew event tonight that includes free beer tasting! Whaaaat?!
So even if you’re ~not into reading~ (another thing I will never understand, but you do you), don’t discount your local library. Check out what opportunities are available and start utilizing the service your tax dollars are paying for! You might be surprised at what you find.