I have to confess: I am an unrepentant Bibliophile. Since my book budget is limited, however (apparently it is important to also buy food and pay the mortgage—darn it!), I also love the public library. I am such a public library fan that I hold current cards for three different library systems—and yes, I do use them all.
A while back I wrote a post about 13 Things to Do at the Library Besides Borrowing Books. Apparently, it struck a chord with some of you because it is by far one of the most read posts on my website.
So, I was at the library last month and I learned about some awesomely cool new services and thought it was time for a follow-up post. Some people (certainly not close friends of mine) think that libraries are antiquated and obsolete in this digital age. Well, I don’t know about your library, but all the ones I’ve visited in the last several years have embraced the digital age—and have done it fabulously. I’ll bet yours has too. Just stop by and ask the librarian—or visit their website. Many of the resources listed below are available online so you can enjoy the wonders of the public library from the comfort of your own computer.
Make a movie or music video
Our library has a studio, complete with a green screen, and all the hardware and software you need to create your own 15 minutes of fame. You can reserve a block of time at the room for filming, recording or editing. You do have to supply most of your own instruments though.
Learn to Read
Many libraries now offer literacy classes and tutoring so there are no excuses for not taking advantage of all those awesome books and programs.
Prepare to Become a US Citizen
If you’re new to the land of the free, or it’s time to commit to your new country, many libraries offer ESL classes as well as help preparing for the US Citizenship exam.
Learn How to Start Your Own Business
Consult with a Business Librarian. And language doesn’t have to be a barrier to business help. Our library offers appointments with business librarians in English, Spanish and Russian. Most major cities offer help on various topics in multiple languages.
Prep for College and Grad School Entrance Exams
Access test preparation materials and practice tests for the SAT/PSAT, ACT, AP Exams and CLEP Exams. You can also get help preparing to take the GED if you need a high school diploma.
Learn How to Apply for a Trademark or Patent
Got the next million-dollar idea? Many libraries have resource consultants who can help you get started with search strategies and provide you with further resources to get you on your way.
Custom Resource Guides for Students and Teachers
Research librarians often offer one-on-one appointments to help you find the resources you need to create a curriculum unit or, if you’re a student, to get your homework done or that project completed.
Explore New Music
Free concerts, music downloads and other music resources are available at the library.
Join a Book Club
Want to do more than just keep up with your reading list? Most libraries host book clubs or have lists of area book clubs for every interest.
Look for a Job, Prepare your Resume & Improve your Interview skills
Job hunting is hard work. You want every advantage to get yourself into the right career. The library has many job hunting resources, along with resume and interview resources. Some libraries even offer resume assistance and job search/interview workshops.
So, have you checked out your library lately?