Summertime is the perfect opportunity to make use of your public library and all its excellent resources. Not only are libraries a cool way to beat the heat and entertain your kids during the summer, but your kid can read as many books as they want for free!
In addition to books, you may be able to check out video games, puzzles, board games, movies, and more!
Getting your child a library card is a great first step in teaching responsibility. Additionally, libraries often offer many free programs for kids and adults and other great resources!
What Types of Programs Do Libraries Offer?
The programs available at your local library will vary based on where you are and the resources available in your town or city. However, here are some common programs libraries offer:
- Storytime based on age groups
- Arts and crafts
- Resume and job search assistance
- Free wifi and computers
- Educational computer games and programs like KneeBouncer Games!
- Play areas for young children
- Book clubs or reading groups
- Instructional classes or webinars
- Access to language learning programs
- Food & diaper drives
- Homeless and shelter resources
Other potential services
If you live in a major city, chances are your library offers all the above and more. Here are some of the unique services and resources we found in major cities around the country:
- The Free Library of Philadelphia provides access to health equipment such as blood pressure monitors, assistance finding healthcare, and signing up for food and medical benefits.
- District of Columbia Public Library (Washington, D.C.) Host regular art exhibits. Local artists can apply to have their work showcased.
- New York Public Library offers a wide range of educational resources and supports for children and parents, including parenting classes, Mommy-and-me classes, and college and career prep.
- San Francisco Public Library offers a wide range of financial planning classes and seminars, including one-on-one counseling with a financial planner.
- Chicago Public Library has media centers for teens to record music, work with video and sound equipment, graphic design, and more.
How Do I Figure Out What My Library Offers?
The best way to discover your library’s programs and resources is to visit their website or sign up for their email list. If you don’t always have access to a computer or phone, visit the library in person. The library will likely have a printed list of their monthly events you can take with you.
Most libraries are near a bus, subway, or other transportation stop making them easy to access.