Why I Love the Public Library


It's a new year and I'd like to remind everyone about my favorite source for free entertainment: your public library. Every library offers different programs but there are some generic offers that most libraries across the country will have. Remember, libraries are funded through a combination of government funds, private donations, and grants.

Obvious I know, but all public libraries house books. You will be able to find everything from classics to new releases. If your library doesn't offer the book you would like to read, you can always ask your librarian to order the title. If the title is popular enough, they will likely order the book.

Many libraries now offer eBooks, but not everyone knows where to look for them. Ask your librarian where the eBooks are offered on the website. In Philadelphia, there is a pink icon on the library's homepage labeled "Digital Media" where you can download eBooks.

You can borrow all types of DVDs from your local library. From new releases, to classics, and everything in between. Libraries will also carry a variety of how-to DVDs, documentaries, and other educational films.

While some libraries participate in Freegal to allow members to download free music, most libraries will still loan CDs. New or old, the library will most likely have the music you want to listen to. Just borrow a CD, crank up the speakers and enjoy.

Many libraries will still have older items in stock. For example, you might be able to borrow VHS tapes and vinyl records. These older formats are often stored in the back room, basement, or other out of the way location. Use your library's database to search for these items and then ask your librarian for help with finding them.

Do you want to learn a new craft? Want to improve your chess game? Many libraries offer community programs and free classes. Ask your librarian for a schedule of events.

Some libraries offer programs such as career guidance, homework help, notary public, and more. I recommend you check out your local library to see what they offer before you spend money elsewhere.


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