Your local library is filled with more than just books and cool places to work and study. Public libraries offer an array of free tools and services that most patrons are not aware are available to them. Here are 10 tools and services you can use through your local library.
- 3D Printers
This one may cost a small materials fee, but access to use the printer(s) is usually free for most libraries. Learn from the library staff how to use technology that is already being utilized in many industries such as architecture, engineering, Medical, and some of the largest tech manufacturers in the world.
- Sewing Labs
Learn this valuable life skill in your local libraries sewing lab. Learn the basics from staff and feel free to bring projects from home to work on. Have a new machine? Talk to a librarian about bringing in your own to learn on.
- Access to Ancestry.com (genealogy)
From school projects to college courses, genealogy has become not only a required part of our education but a fun hobby and a great way to learn more about where you come from. Ancestry.com memberships start at $20/month, many local libraries offer this valuable service for free for library cardholders. Even if your library does not offer this service be sure to check other nearby libraries who often charge a (very small) daily fee for non-members to use their services.
- Access to Lynda.com
Online educational courses…. for FREE! Learn all you need to know to learn a new skill or expand your knowledge in your field using hundreds of hour’s worth of online training videos. Some of the top courses include developer, business, design, web, photography, and marketing.
- Events… Lots of Them!
You might already know that libraries host daily events for kids, but you may not know that there are plenty of great events for adults as well. Parenting classes, computer classes, cooking classes, book clubs, language classes, medical screenings, blood drives, and many more.
- Career & Employment Help
Resume writing, practice interviews, job fairs, and access to recruiting sites. Your library has the tools you need to help you find the job of your dreams.
- Tutoring & Homework Help
A library’s private study rooms provide the perfect atmosphere to study for your big test, but if you ever find you need a little extra help reach out to the library staff to get tutoring help, proctoring, or even practice tests for many subjects.
- Notary services
Just call ahead to see if your library has a notary on staff, no more waiting in long lines or having to make an appointment. Many libraries have certified notaries on staff who are more than happy to help.
- Museum Pass
It’s called Discover and Go and it is spreading to libraries across the country! Use your library card to reserve a free pass to museums! Enter your library card number and password, pick the day you want to go, and print your pass. The coolest part? It’s not just for museums, use your library card to gain access to science centers, zoos, theaters, pools, and other cultural venues!
- Video Streaming (free downloading of movies, music, and ebooks)
This is another one you might know about, but it’s definitely worth repeating! Stop using your friend’s Netflix login and start using your library card to access free movies, music, and e-books from your library’s website.
Visit your local library to find out what other tools and services they offer that may not have made our list. Does your library have a special service that we should know about? Be sure to tell us about it!
About us – LocalHop is an Event Management Platform that provides event marketing, web calendars, and registration systems to organizations and small businesses. LocalHop launched in October 2015 and has offices in Pontiac and Kalamazoo, Michigan.