These days, libraries offer so much more than books. If you haven’t visited your local branch in a while, you’re probably not using your membership to its full potential. You’re also probably missing out on some incredible free perks!
From online reservations and curbside pickup, to streaming free movies and special events, here are some things you might want to check out at your local library.
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If you prefer reading books using your computer or tablet, the library is still the place to get your next novel. While not all libraries use the same eBook companies, you’re sure to find an eLibrary section when you sign in to your library account online.
You might already know that your library has CDs and DVDs for rent. However, did you know you can also use Hoopla via your library’s website to stream entertainment?
If you can’t afford monthly subscriptions to Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+, this option is definitely worth checking out because you can stream for free!
There’s a good chance your library offers a streaming music service, so definitely check the website or contact your local branch to ask.
You don’t even have to go to the library to read the current issues of your favorite magazines. You can view them digitally with your library membership. The Libby App from OverDrive allows you to access magazines right from your phone or tablet.
If you’re a comic book fan, you can read those digitally, as well. Hoopla gives you access to all of your favorite current comics, so you can save even more money by reading them online.
If you have a newer video gaming system (meaning, something that came out within the last decade), your library might even have some games you can rent and play.
Free game rentals absolutely beat the high costs of purchasing your own copy of most titles. Plus, it allows you to play before you buy.
The local library has long been a hub of cultural and social events. You can often enjoy free music from local artists, both in person and online.
Most libraries also have a regularly scheduled story time for kids both on- and offline. To find out what’s coming up at your local branch, just check the event calendar on the website.
If you’re building your own home library, don’t forget to regularly check your library’s used book salesroom or attend its annual book sale. The latter are usually hosted by a Friends of the Library group.
The money you spend on books usually goes right back to the library. So, not only will you be giving back, but you can usually find excellent deals, including a single rate for an entire bag of books.
If you don’t have a printer at home, your public library offers you an affordable way to print what you need. You can usually print documents and photos wirelessly from any library computer.
Some even offer curbside printing from your own laptop. You usually just submit whatever you need to be printed via an online form, and then drive up and grab it when it’s done.
You’ve probably noticed the computer banks at your library. These can really come in handy whenever you or your child have a project due for work or school.
They can also really help you out of a jam if your own computer crashes at the worst possible time (is there ever a good one?). These machines also might come in handy if you need a specific software you don’t have on your own machine, like Word or a PDF editor.
Libraries also offer free Wi-Fi, so they’re a fantastic place to go with your laptop if you just need a break from working at home (or a little peace and quiet). You might have to request the Wi-Fi password, but it will usually be displayed prominently.
Another benefit libraries offer that you might not have known about is their conference rooms.
Whether you’re meeting with prospective clients, or just need a quiet place to work on a project with a partner, these free rooms can really come in handy. They’ll provide you with seating and table space on which to work in a private, quiet setting.
Your library membership comes with loads of free perks—many of which you can enjoy right from your home. Once you have that card number, you can enter a world of free movies, books, games, and more. So, if it’s been a while since you stopped in, click over to the website and see what you can check out.