10 Favorite Library Resources

When you think library, what comes to mind? Is it an ancient women shushing everyone? Rows of untouched books?

Banish those images and enjoy all the library resources available today.

favorite library resources

Here are our 10 Favorite Library Resources:

library book racks1. Books.

Fiction. Nonfiction. Pictures. No pictures. Hardcover. Paperback. Pop-ups.

In all the excitement about how modern libraries are, let’s not forget their primary resource. (Yes, I do believe that is still books.)

Our library is one of the best in the country, but even if yours isn’t Interlibrary Loan can make almost any book you can imagine available. That obscure homeschooling tome that went out of print almost immediately and costs $1 million dollars (you have to say this in a Dr. Evil voice and yes, I am exaggerating), check the library after you pick yourself up out of your faint at the Amazon price.

So many great books don’t have to be owned to be valuable: they need to be read, absorbed, and then shared with others.

2. Movies

Documentaries and feature films. Our library has an incredible selection. We actually had to use the library as an example to explain to our children what “Blockbuster” or “Hollywood Video” were like. (“Kind of like a library of movies, but not free…”)

Yes, we want our children to read books. And no, we don’t want them to spend all their time watching movies. But some movies can help reinforce concepts in a fun way and are a great reward too. (One series we like to check out from our library is Disney Imagineering – great videos about scientific concepts.)

3. Music
Our library offers CDs and digital music. Need an obscure recording for your child’s music class? The library is your friend here.

Let me share a parenting secret with you: if you check out novelty kid music from the library, by the time you are sick of hearing it you can say, “It has to go back. It’s due this week.” AND IT GOES BACK TO THE LIBRARY. Bless.

library digital resources4. Computers with and without Internet Access, plus Digital Resources

Sure, you might have to wait your turn, but many libraries are well equipped with technology.

Not only are there computers at the library, our library also makes available some fantastic digital resources: Overdrive (books & magazines), Freading (books), Freegal (music & videos), and Hoopla (music & videos), to name a few. You can “check out” digital copies of books that the library doesn’t have on their shelves.

This is one of my new favorite resources. I can find a book on the Overdrive app, check it out, and send it to my daughter’s basic Kindle. Boom. Done.

5. Maker Spaces

Our main library has joined this trend. A large section of the library has been given over to resources like sewing machines, printers, video and audio recording equipment, and more.

Sometimes there are classes offered but many times it’s just there for creative types to reserve and use. Does your kid want to make a video about Ancient Egypt for their assignment? Or make some homemade “Warning: Homeschooler, Socialize with Caution” buttons? They could do those things at our library.

6. Homework Assistance

Our library offers homework assistance for students, including an online chat option. This is completely separate from all the tutors you can usual find at the library in the afternoons.

7. Programs

Most libraries offer programs for all ages from Babies to Senior Citizens. Good old fashioned “story time” still exists, but it’s been joined by special programs on just about any subject you can imagine. (Ours recently had a Tin Can Robot Day. There are LEGO days each month, knitting classes, book clubs, craft nights, and more things than space allows me to write about.)

8. Community Connections
You can find community information in and around the library. There are usual bulletin boards full of local events or things of interest. Libraries may not be at the center of community life the way they used to be, but they are still a valuable resource.

librarian

10 library resources

9. Knowledgeable Staff
Librarians themselves are still a great resource. Check-out may have become almost automatic, but librarians are so much more than “Shushers” these days. I saw a graphic once that said “Google can find you 100,000 answers. A librarian can find you the right one.”

Maybe we just have some really nice librarians, but in my experience they are always glad when they’re asked to help with something. (They didn’t pay me to say this, by the way.)

10. A Chance to Volunteer or Work
One way our library has blessed our family in the past couple of years is by offering Teen Volunteer positions. This has been a fantastic fit for our oldest daughter and our next daughter is already anxiously awaiting her chance to volunteer. There are so few safe and acceptable options for teen jobs (especially for young teens) but the library is a great option. Whether shelving, assisting with a program, or cleaning windows (yes, our daughter has done all these things and many more), it’s a chance to learn how to work diligently without a parent to assist or correct.

What are your favorite library resources?

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Stock images in this post courtesy of Pixabay.

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