There’s much more than just books available for checkout at your local library. From engineering workshops to museum tickets, see what kind of fun — and learning — you can “check out” today.

Think about what you remember about your local library growing up. You could fill your tote with books on a range of topics, and during the summer, you could keep track of the books you read for the summer reading program.

Today, libraries are hubs of technology, culture and learning.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 91 percent of Americans ages 16 and older say public libraries are important to their communities. Only 22 percent, however, said they are familiar with the services their libraries currently offer.

Digital Offerings

Log on to a public computer to check email and surf the web. Search the library’s digital catalog and access educational videos and other online resources.

If you use a tablet or e-reader for your reading, see if your local library offers “check-outs” of a wide range of digital content. You might even be able to borrow a digital device.


From interacting with reptiles and building with Legos to getting ready for school or a new job, public libraries are centers of all types of learning. Learn a new language or sign up for a weekly storytime. There are so many ways to learn at your public library.

Tickets and Events

Libraries often play host to meetings of public organizations, such as political or hobby groups. Check the online calendar of events to get involved.

Many people don’t know that libraries offer discounted or even free tickets for all types of attractions, such as museums, sporting events, cultural performances and educational exhibits. The tickets might be available on a limited or “check-out”-type basis, so ask an employee for details about how to take advantage of these opportunities.

Your local library is in tune with what your community wants. Areas focused on sustainability might feature a LEED-certified building or an outdoor “reading trail.” They also might feature exhibitions of local artists, encourage up-and-coming local authors or promote local agriculture with a farmers market.

See how you can get involved in your community.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.