I’m a huge library person. I rarely miss a week and have been known to stop at libraries when we travel to other states. So when recently I spoke to several moms who said they don’t go to the library, I had to extoll all the virtues. I told them all the activities and perks libraries offer and they were actually a bit surprised, in a good way!

Do you have a local library that you never visit? Have you checked their website recently to see what they offer? Better yet, do you have library cards for the entire family? If not, they are easy to get and you should absolutely take advantage of library offerings (it’s a lot more than books!) Most libraries offer the following:

  • Playrooms for children. This is a great escape in the long cold winter months. They can play with toys, books, and other children and you can meet other moms!
  • Book sales. These are an easy and inexpensive way to add to your home library!
  • Homework help. School-age kids can often receive free tutoring. See if your library offers this feature.
  • Classes. My favorite perk. From children to adult, many libraries have rotating monthly and seasonal classes. My kids have taken a dozen classes and we loved them all. Classes may include storytime, crafts, circle time, singing, activity, yoga, maker spaces, Lego clubs, and more.
  • Movies and music. Not every movie is free on our streaming services. They are free at libraries though! There’s something fun about picking out DVDs with kids and some libraries have CDs if you still play them.
  • E-readers are often available to borrow. You can also download library books straight to your e-reader from home.
  • Artwork and collections. Many libraries showcase local artists so it’s nice to get out and see their work!
  • Museum passes. Some libraries offer free museum passes and greatly discounted entrance fees to other cultural centers. This is a resource that can save you a lot of cash for an average family. You may have to reserve the day if they have limits on the number of passes that can be used daily. We’ve gotten discounts for art museums, nature centers, science centers, children’s museums, local farms, planetariums and more. What an amazing way to take the kids exploring for free!

As we know libraries promote literacy. Making a trip there weekly, or monthly, to get a new stack of books will keep your kids reading (or you reading to them). Most libraries have school break reading programs, complete with incentives and prizes for the kids. Look into that as a way to have the kids have a reading goal and keep busy!

Libraries can be resourceful and fun community hubs if you take advantage of the things they offer.