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17 Cool Things You Didn't Know You Can Do With A Library Card

It goes way beyond checking out books.

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Whether you have been a proud library card holder since you were a kid, or have never even been to your local library, you probably know it as the place you go to check out books.

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But did you know that having a library card gives you so much more than that? How about museum passes, career advice, and yoga classes?

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Yup, all that and more are at your fingertips with your library card. Here are some of the coolest things you can do as a library card holder:

1. Download e-books.

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Thanks to the Overdrive app, you can use your library card to borrow e-books, audiobooks, and more directly to your personal devices from your local public library.

2. Get free movie and music rentals.

Sure, streaming services are fun, but do you ever miss walking through an actual video rental store and just sort of browsing for something interesting to watch? Well, the public library has a whole entertainment section filled with DVDs, Blu-Ray movies, and CDs — and unlike the old video stores, it's 100% FREE with your library card!
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Sure, streaming services are fun, but do you ever miss walking through an actual video rental store and just sort of browsing for something interesting to watch? Well, the public library has a whole entertainment section filled with DVDs, Blu-Ray movies, and CDs — and unlike the old video stores, it's 100% FREE with your library card!

3. Watch a movie...AT the library!

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Many libraries have movie screenings of popular new releases, favorite classics, and even kid-friendly movies for the whole family! Check with your local branch for show times.

4. Stream movies at home...or anywhere!

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Who needs a monthly bill for streaming services? With the Kanopy app, you can stream any of the 26,000 film titles available FOR FREE with your library card.

5. Entertain your kids.

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Many library branches have activities for kids, and it goes way beyond story time (which is also a great activity!). Craft workshops, music classes, puppet shows, drag queen story hours, and so many other great opportunities to get the kids out of the house and doing something fun.

6. Feed your kids.

During the school year, many families count on the meals that public schools provide to their children. Thanks to programs like Lunch at the Library, many local branches across the country offer free lunch and enrichment activities (like the ones listed above!) for any and every child — with no questions or qualifying requirements.
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During the school year, many families count on the meals that public schools provide to their children. Thanks to programs like Lunch at the Library, many local branches across the country offer free lunch and enrichment activities (like the ones listed above!) for any and every child — with no questions or qualifying requirements.

7. Access online databases.

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Those computers at the library are not just for checking your email and looking up a book without having to ask a librarian. The library computers offer access to a myriad of otherwise expensive subscriber-based research databases, current and past newspaper articles, job listings, academic journals and research, and Consumer Reports.

8. Reserve a room for your book club or study group.

Need a meeting place for your book club? A quiet place for a study group or tutoring session? A neutral place to have a business meeting? The library's got you covered. Just ask your librarian how to reserve space to accommodate your needs.
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Need a meeting place for your book club? A quiet place for a study group or tutoring session? A neutral place to have a business meeting? The library's got you covered. Just ask your librarian how to reserve space to accommodate your needs.

9. Take advantage of free Wi-Fi.

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That's right, in addition to free air conditioning (especially in those long summer months) the library offers free Wi-Fi, computers (for all the browsing and research!), and some libraries even have laptops you can borrow to work on while you're there.

10. Get free admission to local museums.

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The Museum Pass gives library card holders the ability to checkout free admission passes to select museums — check with your local branch or any particular museum you are interested in for details.

11. Have books delivered to your mailbox.

Many local libraries offer Library by Mail, a program designed for bibliophiles who are home-bound due to a temporary or permanent disability that makes it difficult or impossible to visit a physical library because health, advanced age, or mobility issues.Once a patron has registered for the program, they can select the materials they wish to check out. The items are mailed directly to the patron, with a return mailing slip included — all free of charge. Some branches even help patrons find selections based on their interests, and offer extended checkouts for up to six weeks.
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Many local libraries offer Library by Mail, a program designed for bibliophiles who are home-bound due to a temporary or permanent disability that makes it difficult or impossible to visit a physical library because health, advanced age, or mobility issues.

Once a patron has registered for the program, they can select the materials they wish to check out. The items are mailed directly to the patron, with a return mailing slip included — all free of charge. Some branches even help patrons find selections based on their interests, and offer extended checkouts for up to six weeks.

12. Update your tech skills!

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Wanna learn how to code? Wanna become an expert at photoshop? More than 90% of U.S. public libraries now offer either formal or informal tech classes...once again, FOR FREE.

13. Get free assistance with job searches, resume writing, and interview tips.

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Librarians are not just literary fountains of information. They are also trained and happy to assist you with your job search. Many local branches even offer "one-stop career centers," which will connect you to invaluable local resources for job listings and employment services.

14. Get help with your homework.

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Ask you local librarian about homework help, tutoring, SAT/ACT prep, and even for help with college searches and financial aid information.

15. Take citizenship classes.

Many library branches around the country now offer free classes, information, and resources to patrons who are looking to become American citizens.
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Many library branches around the country now offer free classes, information, and resources to patrons who are looking to become American citizens.

16. Get a family pass to the zoo

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Much like the Museum Pass, you can likely get a pass for up to four people per household for your local zoo!

17. Learn a new language

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Looking to learn a new language? Maybe you have an upcoming trip abroad and want to learn some key phrases to help you along the way or maybe you want to become fluent in a second language — either way language-learning software or classes can be expensive. But with your library card, you can access Mango, which offers online courses in over 70 languages! And yup, you guessed it, FOR FREE!!!!

So, what are you waiting for? Go get your library card and let the adventures BEGIN!

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