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Most people know that they can head to their local library to check out books or use the Internet, but did you know that public libraries actually have so much more to offer? There are many free services you can take advantage of just by having a library card. Check with your local library to learn more about these and any other free services they have available.
Audiobooks, eBooks & Magazines
Libraries know how important it is to make books available through digital format ,in this day and age. That’s why they offer free access to ebooks and audiobooks through services like Hoopla and Libby. Just register for free with your library card and instantly browse, borrow and stream millions of titles.
Movies and Television
Hoopla and Libby also offer free movies and television, but many library patrons prefer Kanopy. Kanopy may not offer the most popular films and shows, but it does include a ton of educational options for kids, including content from the Great Courses series. It also has lots of PBS series, which are family-friendly and appealing to a wide range of ages.
Music and Music Videos
Listen to music for free with your library card at Freegal. Find playlists for any mood and search by genre or artist. Libby also offers music streaming.
Don’t pay to learn another language. Resources like Mango and Little Pim are available to you for free with your library card. Mango is geared toward adults, teaching over 60 world languages with conversational and grammar goals. Little Pim is an online language learning system for young children, offering theme-based educational videos in 12 different languages.
Does your child need a little extra help in math, reading or another subject? Chances are your local library partners with online tutoring programs such as Brainfuse or Tutor.com. These programs offer live tutors to provide help in a variety of subject areas. Help with homework is just a library card away!
Online Video Courses
Add a new skill to your resume without spending a dime. Whether it’s for personal or professional development, your local library is likely to offer free online courses accessible from the comfort of your own home. One popular platform is UDEMY. Check with your local library and see what you can learn for free!
Arts & Crafts Classes
With the growing focus on DIY projects, many libraries have begun partnering with crafting education companies to offer free video classes to those with a library card. Creativebug is one example where you can stream thousands of arts and crafts tutorials from your home or on the go via their app.
Programs for Kids, Teens and Adults
Take a look at the events and programming calendar from your local library. There you will find different programs targeting all audiences, from babies to the elderly. Storytime, STEM events, book clubs, video games, crafting, film showings, yoga — the offerings are endless! Go ahead and check out one of the events near you. It’s a great way to make new friends!
Passes to Local Attractions
Many libraries offer free or discounted passes to local cultural attractions like museums and state parks. Typically a library has a designated number of passes available to borrow for a set amount of time. These passes will give you free or discounted admission. This is a great perk for homeschooling families to use on field trip days!
Genealogy & Historical Documents
Local libraries can provide a wealth of information when it comes to genealogy research. Local history documents including manuscripts, newspapers, microfilms and more may be accessible for viewing at a local branch. Many libraries also partner with genealogy research companies like Ancestry and HeritageQuest.