Today’s modern libraries offer e-book and e-magazines, plus movies on DVD and other digital items such as services as free Wi-Fi, used bookstores. 90% of libraries now offer e-books for your device, and 39% lend e-readers to library patrons. Public libraries across the country are getting creative when it comes to being a resource for their communities. Michigan’s Ann Arbor District Library loans out art prints for two months. Library users can also check out art supplies with dies, musical instruments and microscopes. Board games, fishing poles and tackle boxes are available in Michigan’s St. Clair County Library System. And it’s not just household items. The Mesa Public Library in Arizona has a seed library, where library card-holders can get three free seed packets a month to start a garden.
New York Libraries has I-pads, and computers for the toddlers and gaming equipment like X-box and PS4 for teens, adults and seniors.
Indianapolis’ library system and a host of others,offer students the ability to text a librarian or email or chat with a tutor for free).
If your child has prepared for the SAT/ACT and is ready to start applying to colleges, libraries also have information on awards, grants and scholarship that can help tremendously with the cost of college tuition.
Treadmill work stations offer a way for library patrons to burn a few calories while reading or surfing the web. Three branches of the Phoenix Public Library allow visitors to reserve walking computers for 30-minute sessions. Central Library in Phoenix and THINKspot at Red Mountain Library in Mesa, Ariz., are two such maker spaces that provide tools and resources for exploring science, technology, engineering, math and art (STEAM).
Libraries offer public access to specialized equipment like 3D printers, as well as training and a collaborative environment in which to create. Other libraries offer classes and services for aspiring artists, novelists and people interested in learning out-of-the-box skills. The Bubbler at Madison Public Library in Wisconsin holds courses ranging from videogame design to screen-printing and painting. Brooklyn Public Library in New York offer classes in digital camera editing.
Local artists have also used the Media Lab facilities at the Madison Public Library to record and produce their music.
Libraries have been shifting from book repositories to community learning centers for years. Today many libraries offer online classes, workforce training, tax aid, health promotion, and resume and career-building support.