In honor of National Library Week, I’ve listed five reasons for actually, physically going into your local library. For anyone who hasn’t been inside a library building since high school, old memories of musty books or shushing librarians will soon be forgotten and replaced with experiences that are such fun, you’ll wonder what kept you away for so long.
- Coffee Shop – Really! Local libraries often include a small cafe or coffee shop that’s the perfect place to grab a sandwich on your break,or enjoy an evening dessert with friends.
- Live Music – During the week and on weekends, your local library hosts free or very affordable concerts – everything from classical to New Age, jazz to folk.
- Make Something Cool – Who would think that hands-on activities like making soap or learning to cook would be something you and your family could do at the library?
- Get Healthy – No matter how in or out of shape you might be, there are plenty of friendly, welcoming fitness classes available at your local library – yoga, tumbling, relaxation – it’s all there for every age group
- Look Into the Universe – Many libraries invite the public not just to read about space, but to get outside, look through a telescope and learn about the stars and planets with fellow star gazers.
These are just a few of the innumerable events, activities and opportunities modern libraries offer their patrons. You don’t have to join your library – even though getting a card is free at all public libraries, and cheap at the smaller, private ones. All you have to do is walk in the door, look for a computer station or a printed calendar of events – and go!
Non-fiction book discussions, kids’ building challenges, beginner needlework classes, toddler storytimes and exciting poetry slams are happening throughout the year – so why not give it a try this week?
And just an idea – you might want to join the Friends of the Library when you get your library card. It’s a low-cost way to support your library since the library’s operating budget usually doesn’t pay for special programming. Friends and similar organizations foot those bills, so the more members, the more programming options are available.
What is your favorite thing about your local library? Are there specific programs you’d like to see offered? Would you like to present a class or program to the public? If so, have you talked with your library about it?