When in doubt, go to the library.
I think most of us are well aware of how instrumental public libraries are in getting our kids into the habit of reading at a young age, but there are even more benefits and resources for the entire family.
Access to eBooks and Audiobooks
It’s no secret that the popularity of ebooks and audiobooks is on the rise. Busy parents often have a hard time finding time to read traditional books for their own pleasure, but for those solo commutes, or even while doing household chores, the electronic version can be a great alternative. If you can find books the whole family can agree on, they’re great for long trips or even daily commutes, too.
Free Computer Use, Internet Access, WiFi & Research Support
If you don’t have a computer at home, your home computer is glitchy, your mobile data plan is running low, or WiFi overage fees are taking their toll, public libraries are incredible resources. You can work on school or work projects, search for jobs, and research any topic (including self-help, parenting, DIY projects, and travel) — all with the help of skilled librarians. Public libraries also often have prep courses for tests such as the SAT and GRE, which can save you tons of money on the books.
Activities, Classes & Events
In addition to the standard children’s story times, public libraries usually offer free events, classes, and activities that often include:
- Teen-friendly programming
- Book or poetry readings
- Book groups
- Summer book clubs for all ages
- Meetings of local political, civic, or interest-based organizations
- Family story time
- School readiness programs
- Language classes
- Job readiness classes
- Additional child or adult learning classes on science, art, computers, and more
Click the links below each image to check out the websites of our three stellar local public library systems, and learn about the dizzying array of things they have to offer: