There’s no place like the library. As the daughter of a librarian, I spent most of my childhood inside libraries borrowing books, participating in activities, researching for school, and socializing. When I was a kid we didn’t have video games, personal computers and tablets, and my family certainly didn’t have the income to purchase books all the time, so I spent a lot of time at the library taking advantage of all the free activities they had to offer.
Even though we have research and reading material available to us through the Internet, you shouldn’t write off the library completely. In case you haven’t been in a while here are a few reasons to drop into the library today, and often.
21 Reasons to Visit the Library
1. Books! Books! Books!
At the library you have access to every type of book imaginable – and they’re all free to borrow. Whether you’re looking to learn something new, get lost in a mystery or romance, or find a good book read to a little one, you can find it at the library.
2. Children love the library
Libraries are magical places. Children love to come for story hour, music time, and learning clubs. There are books with beautiful pictures, and favorite movies to borrow and watch over and over.
3. Regular library visits enforce regular reading
Want your kids to love books? Bring them to the library often. Allow them to browse on their own and find the books that interest them. Introduce them to the librarian who will always be ready with a smile and recommendations. Kids who grow up around books love books forever.
4. A library card is a responsibility
A library card is more than a piece of plastic to put in a wallet, it’s a responsibility. When you sign up to join a library you’re telling your local government you’re someone who can be trusted to keep their property in good condition and return it within the allotted time limit. Young people who have library cards learn about maturity and accountability – especially if they know they have to pay out of pocket if they return a book or movie late or damaged.
5. Students who visit the library do better in school
Did you know that visiting the library can lead to higher test scores? A study done in 2005 by the Illinois School Library Media Association showed that when students have regular access to well-stocked libraries they’re better readers and writers and do better on SATs and ACTs.
If you like to read eBooks but don’t really like the cost, your local library is a great place to borrow free eBooks. You have to have be a member of the library in order to borrow. Also, there may be a wait list for popular titles – and you have to return the book within the deadline or it will disappear from your device. Having a preference for electronic reading doesn’t mean you don’t need the library anymore.
7. Book clubs for kids and adults
All libraries host book clubs for different age groups. Toddlers, kids, tweens, teens, and adults can meet others who share a love of books and reading .
8. Computers and free WiFi
For those without computers or Internet service at home, the library is a life saver. Computers help people of all ages to stay in touch, do school work, research information, and look for jobs. Even if you’re not in need of a computer, the free WiFi available at most libraries makes a nice quiet place to work, study, or use the Internet as you wait for your children to finish up their library business.
9. Research the right way
Many online resources are banned from high school and college papers because they’re not entirely accurate. The library provides an arsenal of research material on just about every topic. Even if you’re not in school, the library has the resources for you to research health issues, look up doctors and other professionals, learn about your local and world history, and so much more.
10. Borrow music
There are still people who enjoy listening to music on CD or vinyl – and some libraries even offer digital music for limited borrowing. In fact, the library is a good place to borrow music to listen to before making the decision to invest in it.
11. Borrow movies
Not everyone wants to Netflix and chill. If you enjoy a good movie, but you don’t want to buy or pay for a subscription service, consider browsing the DVD archives at your local library. They have a variety of current and classic favorites. Mind you, the most popular titles have a waiting list, but we think you’ll agree good movies are worth waiting for.
12. Most libraries offer free classes, seminars, and lectures
Many libraries bring in popular speakers and community leaders to teach or share important issues.
13. Magazines and newspapers
Yes, Virginia, there really are people who prefer to read their news offline. All libraries subscribe to local, national, and world newspapers, as well as most popular magazines. You don’t even have to borrow them to bring home. Just come for some quiet time to relax in a comfy chair and catch up on news or the latest scandals.
14. Community activities
Libraries bring a community together. Whether through town hall meetings, charity and fundraiser events, local politics, or just bumping into neighbors in the aisles, the library is a place where you can talk about local issues and meet people who live in your area.
15. Book sales
Libraries host regular books sales to free up shelf spaces and eliminate overstock. As most books are well used (but in good condition), it’s a good way to pick up books on the cheap.
16. Meet people who love reading as much as you do!
Book lovers unite at libraries. There’s no better place to talk about reading with other avid readers Whether in an organized group, or an impromptu discussion, you’ll leave the library smarter and with more friends than when you arrived.
17. The library is a quiet place to work
If you need to work or study but don’t want to do it at home, skip the noisy coffee shop. Your public library offers free Wifi, plenty of desk space, and other people working so you don’t feels as if you’re alone. They’ll even let you bring in your own coffee.
18. Book deadlines are good motivation
When you have to return a book in two weeks or get fined, you’re more motivated to finish it in a timely manner.
Your librarians may possibly be the smartest people you know, and they’re there to help. They can recommend books within your interest range, help with research material, and answer all kinds of questions.
20. The library can keep you busy for hours
I dare you to enter a library and not have anything to do there. Whether you read, use the computers, chat with your neighbors, work, or participate in activities you can get lost for hours there. The library is welcoming to everyone and everyone has something to do.
21. Because if you don’t support your local library it will go away
Your library belongs to local or state government and relies on government funding. If a library isn’t used and/or doesn’t receive funding, it can lose funding. Without money, libraries can’t purchase books or fund activities which can cause a loss of patrons. Once people stop visiting libraries, there’s no reason to keep them open.
How to find a library near you
Are you inspired to visit the library? If you’re not sure where to find one in your area, there are several ways to find out where it is:
- Search online: Enter the name of your city or town, the state, and the word “library” into your search engine to find results in your area.
- Your town government website – Your local municipality should have a listing for their library on their website.
- Library locater: There are a number of online tools to help you search for libraries in your area.
- Ask! Talk to your neighbors. Find out where they go to use a library.
Libraries are wonderful places filled with imagination, creativity and adventure. When you support your library, you support your town and community. Why not make a plan to drop in soon?