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Public Library Resources You May Have Overlooked

Whether you’re looking for reading material, free WiFi or even employment resources—your local public library has you covered.

If you haven’t set foot in your local library recently, make it a point to carve out some time for a visit. You’ll be surprised to learn about the plethora of resources at your disposal.

Here are some of the things you can find at your local library:

e-books and e-readers. OverDrive is one of the apps used by libraries to loan books to people with e-readers. Some libraries also loan e-readers for free, so be sure to check out this option to avoid lugging around a hefty stack of books.

WiFi. While you can get free internet access at many public places, libraries often provide much more than a simple WiFi signal. In fact, public libraries address disparities in income, geography, socioeconomics and other factors through digital inclusion. This includes free wireless internet service. Even if you don’t have a computer or printer, many libraries offer laptops for checkout.

Technology training. Nearly all public libraries offer technology training, so if you’re looking to brush up on your tech skills, get in touch with your local library to see what they offer. Many libraries offer education and learning programs that patrons can take advantage of, as well.

Employment resources. Libraries are a great place for those seeking employment resources, so if you’re looking for job application assistance, resume development and/or a place to practice your interview skills, check out your local library to see what’s offered. Patrons can also get a helping hand and learn how to use employment databases, as well as direct access to business information resources.

Civic engagement. Community, civic engagement or e-government programs are commonly offered at libraries. Need help completing an online government form? Your local library can likely offer assistance.

Digital entertainment. If sitting down with a good book isn’t your idea of a good time, don’t despair. Libraries offer a plethora of digital entertainment, including CDs, DVDs, audiobooks and even video games. There’s truly something for everyone.

Tools. If your to-do list is overflowing with projects—and you’re not interested in investing in a tool that won’t get much use—a tool lending library is just what you need. Patrons can borrow an assortment of tools, equipment and instruction manuals—returning the items when they’re no longer needed.

Toys. You’ve probably seen a play area full of toys and books for small children within your local library, but did you know that some libraries actually loan out toys? If your children have lost interest in the toys they have at home, a trip to the library could reinvigorate their sense of play.

Passes to local attractions. If you’re looking for something different to do with the family, look into whether your local library offers free or discounted passes to museums, zoos, science centers, botanical gardens and other local attractions. This is a great way to explore your city without breaking the bank.

Take a closer look around your local library the next time you visit. If you’re unsure about a service—and whether or not it’s available—ask a librarian for help. If they don’t offer the service you’re looking for, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.