Your local library offers so many fun and educational resources — more than you might imagine! In addition to checking out books, libraries give you access to online learning tools, digital media, and free classes and events. You can also check out passes for cultural institutions, state parks, and beyond.

It’s clear that you shouldn’t ignore the power of your local library, but it can feel like a challenge to figure out how to make use of all the opportunities your local library offers. The Douglass County Libraries website is a great place to start exploring the wide range of resources you can access through our amazing library system. To get you started, Crème de la Crème of Lone Tree put together this guide of useful resources that you have to check out.

Digital Media

A boy at home sitting with a local library book.

Image via Unsplash by kelli_mcclintock

No time to make a trip to your local library branch? No problem. The Douglass County Libraries system offers a big range of digital media tools that lets your family have fun and learn from home. By using your library card number and PIN, you can access various apps for reading and more. You’ll find plenty of ways to stay entertained using your home devices by accessing e-books, audiobooks, movies, TV, and music.

Many of these services include media especially suited to kids, taking the guesswork out of finding age-appropriate materials for every member of the family. For instance, OverDrive Kids features audiobooks and e-books for readers 12 years old and younger (including read-alongs for preschoolers). Hoopla has kids’ materials such as audiobooks, e-books, music, and digital movies and TV you can stream or download. TumbleBooks offers another app with media for the younger members of your family.

With many apps designed to let you access media without waiting, your library card lets you treat the kids to story time or a fun movie whenever you want. Many apps also automatically return for you what you’ve borrowed, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of due dates. All in all, Douglass County Libraries’ digital media selection means you’ll have so many engaging tools at your fingertips to enhance your kids’ learning.

More Than Just Books

So, you know you can check out regular books and their online counterparts from the local library. Did you think you could check out, say, a sewing machine or microscope? Douglass County Libraries lets you borrow a wide variety of non-traditional items, so whether you want to plan a fun family game night using a Nintendo entertainment system or need a wireless hotspot to get online, make sure you check out what your local library offers.

The possibilities don’t end there, though. Our library system features the Check Out Colorado program, which gives local families the opportunity to check out family activity backpacks that include a pass for admission to any Colorado state park. It’s a great way to get out and enjoy nature without spending a ton on admission.

If your kiddos are more into indoor activities, Douglass County Libraries has you covered, too. You can reserve an Adventure Pass to cultural instutituions, including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Denver Firefighters Museum, and more. No matter if your family wants to explore art, nature, or anything in between, you’ll find resources thanks to your local library.

Online Learning

Need access to databases for research projects? Yet again, your local library is the place to go. Douglass County Libraries offers a range of student resources, including live tutoring, homework help, and access to reference materials for elementary school and beyond.

The fun isn’t reserved for only kids, though. You’ll have plenty of ways to enhance your own learning through your local library, too. Douglass County Libraries connects you to online learning resources ideal for when you want to pick up a new skill in your own time, without leaving home. Start learning that language you’ve always wanted to learn using Mango Languages, pick up business, technology, or creative skills via, or upgrade your DIY game using Creativebug. Your library card number and PIN opens up a world of possibilities.

Lone Tree Local Events

The Lone Tree location of Douglass County Libraries typically offers a few unique in-person activities sure to delight your kids. First up is “Playful Pets,” an interactive play animal clinic and grooming spa. Kids can get dressed up in lab coats (kid-size lab coats, that is!) and have fun with stuffed animals, veterinary tools, and grooming products. It’s a great opportunity for kids interested in animals — or really any child that likes to indulge in some imaginative fun.

Storytime for Kids

Kids can also take part in the library’s Storytime series. Right now, Douglass County Libraries offers the weekday event virtually, letting your family enjoy the popular event from the comfort and safety of home. Led by Douglass County Libraries staff, kids get to participate in songs, rhymes, fingerplays, and of course, reading.

Storytime is designed to nurture emerging reading skills, fostering early literacy before kids learn to read or write. By emphasizing five core simple activities (talking, singing, playing, reading, and writing), Storytime at your local library helps lay the groundwork for future school success, not to mention a lifelong love of reading. The library system focuses on pre-reading skills like letter knowledge, narrative skills, phonological awareness, print awareness, print motivation, and vocabulary, so it’s the perfect way to introduce the youngest in your brood to the perks your local library offers.

As you can see, the power of your local library goes well beyond traditional books. Whether you need a tool to work on a project, want to make a family trip to a museum or state park, or are looking for e-books, movies, and more to enjoy without ever leaving home, Douglass County Libraries has something for you. We hope this list inspires you to check out the opportunities our local system provides. Did we miss your family’s favorite library class or activity? Let us know so we can add your suggestion to our list!