5 Benefits of Joining Your Local Library

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One of my favorite hobbies/things to do/ways to spend my free time is reading. I’ve always loved to read, and while my taste has changed from The Berenstain Bears and Junie B. Jones books I devoured in my youth, I still binge-read the way people binge-watch. I visit the library one to two times every week or so to return my finished books and pick up new books. It’s one of my favorite weekly routines, and I still love the feeling of being in the library every time I visit.

It seems that going to the library is a lost past time, but for those who do not have a library card, you’re truly missing out! I saw an episode about libraries on Arthur in elementary school and I think they said it best, “having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.”

Here are my top five reasons to join your local library:

Free books!

Okay, this is obvious (I think) but the best thing about the library is all the FREE books. Joining a library is FREE, and you can join at any age (with some parameters like a parent assisting their child with the registration process.) Again, one more time for the people in the back, libraries are FREE. You literally have free access to thousands of books with your library card, and on average, you will save $20 each time you check out a library book. 

Typically the only costs associated with libraries are late fees, which can easily be avoided by signing up for email reminders about your book return dates. AND if you don’t finish your book in the typical two week check-out window, you can request a renewal by either calling the library or signing into your library account online.

I usually search for books I want using the library’s online catalog. This is a great feature because I can request books from different libraries within my library system and pick them up at my closest location. I can also place holds on books that are checked-out and be notified when they are returned.

My go-to genres are suspense, thriller, and mystery, but I do love a breezy rom-com style beach read, too. The library will typically have displays with suggestions and recommendations based on authors, pop-culture, current events, holidays, etc. to inspire your choices and introduce readers to new books and authors. I’ve found some of my favorite authors this way. 

Free Audiobooks

Again with the FREE books. Many library memberships include access to their digital libraries through programs like Libby or Overdrive, and can be accessed on a wide range of e-readers and tablets. This is great for vacations so you don’t have to lug your reading list around while you travel! 

More than Books

While “books” are synonymous with “library”, they really are so much more than that. Libraries are full of programming — mommy and me reading classes, book clubs, teen talks, guest lectures, movie screenings. I’ve joined a few really fun book clubs and met some great friends – books and beers, anyone? – from visiting the library. There really is something for everyone from every walk and stage of life.

A quiet space and change of scenery

You don’t have to hold a library card to hang out at the library (but it does help if you want to use the computer or pick up a new book!) It’s a nice, quiet change of scenery to pack my laptop, grab a coffee and set up shop at a table among the bookshelves. 

Resources

The library isn’t just for scoring your next beach read, it’s a literal learning playground. Libraries typically have a few computers available for public use and visitors can access the Internet and printers. Or if you need to do some research, you can access the educational and informational databases and programs the library subscribes to. When all else fails, visit the circulation or reference desk and chat with the librarians or staff to help find what you’re looking for during your visit. You can even register for a passport and get your photo taken there, too!

Go check out your local library. Happy reading!

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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