Things You Can Get Through Your Public Library

Things You Can Get Through Your Public Library
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Things You Can Get Through Your Public Library

February is Library Lovers’ Month! And there’s so much to love about libraries. Everyone knows libraries as places to borrow books for free, but there are so many more things that libraries have to offer.

Libraries are here to support their communities, and there are tons of resources at your disposal that you might have never known about. 

Here are some of the best resources that New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library have to offer! 

Psst… Check out the Museum of Broadway, every theatre fan’s dream!

Book Recommendations

You don’t need to have a book in mind before making a trip to the library. If you’re trying to start reading again or just don’t have anything on your To Be Read list jumping out at you, libraries frequently offer book recommendations, ranging from general lists to personalized picks.

Peruse lists of the most popular books or staff favorites, or send your reading interests in for personalized recommendations from the library’s staff. Your local library can help you find your next read, even if it’s been a while since you’ve last read a book. 

Learning Out Of School

Whether you’re looking for extra enrichment for your kids or you’ve been out of school and are looking to learn something new, libraries have tons of programs for learning.

The public libraries throughout New York offer enrichment and programming for elementary school-aged kids as well as college readiness and homework resources for older students. But there’s options for grown-ups, too, including adult learning, workshops and more. 

You can even learn a new language with help from the library. Your library card gives you access to Mango Languages, a database with lesson plans for over 70 languages. Additionally, you can find conversation groups and books in different languages.

Access to the City’s Attractions

Your library card from New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library or Queens Public Library can be your ticket to New York City’s museums and attractions through Culture Pass.

Discover more about your city through free admission to dozens of cultural institutions. There are participating organizations all over the city, including the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Met, Museum of the Moving Image and much more. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Find ways to give back to your community with the help of your local library. Libraries have plenty of programs that are always looking for new volunteers for things like resume coaching, tutoring, shelf organizing and more.

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities outside of the library, there are also ways that your library can connect you to other organizations across New York City.  

Community Events

While libraries are commonly known for their event offerings for young children, they have a great lineup of events for all ages, including teens, adults and seniors. Bring your kids to library play dates and story times.

Teens can stop in for study hangouts, club meetings and craft activities. For adults looking for something fun to do after work, try book discussions, spaces for hobbies like knitting or crocheting or classes on new skills. 

Support Resources

Libraries are here for the benefit of communities, and community members can turn to libraries when they’re in need of extra support.

Patrons and community members can use libraries for connections to general and mental health resources, vaccine resources and financial and food security resources. There are also things like workshops and classes for those who want to stay informed on different topics. 

Online Resources

There are even library resources you can access from the comfort of your own home.  With your library card, you can do things like learn new languages, get how-to guides on how to create different things, access digital books and magazines, listen to music and much more.

Rosa Caballero-Li, director of book ops for New York Public Library, said the libraries’ online resources are her personal favorites.

“As a working full time mom, it’s super helpful to have access to online resources with my library card,” Caballero-Li says.

Your library card can be a gateway to a world of information without even having to set foot in the library. 

Knowledgeable Staff

Caballero-Li says library staff members are one of the library’s best kept secrets.

“I think the library staff is the best resource New Yorkers can have,” Caballero-Li says. “They are helpful and have all these amazing resources at their finger tips to help you find what you need.”