While the local library has always been a valuable resource for borrowing and reading books, it has evolved into something so much more. As a community center for all ages, your family can take advantage of all your local library has to offer. Whether it’s fun-loving children’s activities and story time events, adults benefiting from the free internet access, or people of all ages learning helpful life skills, there is so much to explore at your local library.

View Books, Movies, and More Through Digital Library Services

A middle-school boy working at a computer in his local library.

Image via Flickr by Knight Foundation

Thanks to the power of the internet, you no longer need to check out physical books to enjoy reading. The digital library of Prince William Public Library Services (PWPLS) offers free access to thousands of online and digital resources, such as newspapers, audiobooks, e-books, and more. Simply search according to the subject, or you can organize the digital resources by the following topics: read, list, watch, or learn. In order to access these online tools, you’ll need to sign up for a digital library card, which you can do directly on the library’s website.

If you’re looking for the latest in books, movies, and music, we suggest subscribing to the Wowbrary newsletter. It’s a free weekly email newsletter that provides early notification of the newest bestsellers or most popular DVDs. This digital feature includes easy-to-access links that allow you to reserve any online media instantly, without even stepping inside the library. 

Read and Watch for Free with These Digital Book Apps

While you can download and read e-books and movies for free with the library’s digital services, you can also benefit from their partnership with OverDrive and Hoopla. Both of these library media streaming platforms connect library members to thousands of free e-books, audiobooks, movies, and more. No more waiting in line to check out books or DVDs. Sift through the extensive online catalog of magazines, comics, and TV shows that you can view on your mobile phone, tablet, computer, and even your TV.

Check out these unique features of both Hoopla and OverDrive below:

  • Instantly borrow a wide range of digital media including e-books, movies, comics, and more. 
  • Choose from millions of book titles and genres such as biography, fantasy, fiction, mystery, and children with several titles being added each day.
  • All borrowed media is removed from your device at the end of the lending period.
  • OverDrive includes a student reading app, Sora, that has both e-books and audiobooks available.

Instill a Love for Learning with Engaging Children’s Events 

A young girl enjoying reading time their local library with her mom.

Image via Flickr by sirwiseowl

PWPLS provides several positive, fun-filled events where children will learn to absolutely love reading. These classes and clubs will help your child engage with books through the use of puzzles, puppetry, movies, and many other tools. The local librarians do their best to create events that will not only engage children but also help them develop essential reading skills as early as preschool age.

Book Club To Go focuses on one particular book hand-selected by the library staff. Your child can choose from either a physical book, audiobook, or e-book. Several options for engaging further with the story include kid-friendly discussion questions, film adaptions of the novel, and activities such as puzzles, mazes, or word games.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten provides a strong foundation for developing important reading skills for preschool children. While this may sound like an overwhelming amount of books for your child, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your kids devour these stories. The library staff created this program with the main goal for each child to read a total of 365 books in one year and over 1,000 books in three years. With both our physical location and digital library, you and your child should have no problem finding stories or picture books they will positively love.

Of course, we can’t forget about our future readers! Baby Story Time, a virtual event, captivates babies and toddlers to two years old with music, finger puppets, short stories, and rhyming books. We highly encourage our parents to check out some of the stories we read to the littlest ones. With the help of these books, you can work alongside your son or daughter practicing their pre-reading skills at home.

Explore Activities Beyond Reading

Did you know that your local library offers so much more than books? While stories, audiobooks, and e-books are valuable tools provided by PWPLS, there are many other activities and events to explore that are great for each member of the entire family.

Simply Yoga & Meditation for Relaxation allows you and your children to learn valuable calming and relaxation skills from the comfort of your home. This virtual program offers a short yoga and meditation session that soothes both the body and the mind. 

Tinker Tuesdays is a weekly STEAM Kit activity provided by the Bull Run branch. You can participate in two different ways. Pick up a free kit each week from the Bull Run library or discover exciting and engaging activities on our YouTube Channel. School-aged children ages 8 through 12 can choose from fascinating and creative activities like DIY sugar crystals, Halloween origami, paper bag kites, marble mazes, and LEGO pictionary.

Music & Motion is a virtual dance party you can join right from your home! This weekly virtual program features songs, dancing, and movement activities that your children are sure to enjoy. Don’t think this is a dance party you can miss. Children love it when their parents participate with them and enjoy these wild, crazy activities as much as they do. Some popular songs include “Sticky Bubble Gum”, “Tigers Are Sleeping”, and “Everyone Can March, March, March,” all of which can be found on YouTube.

Do you take advantage of your local library in Prince William County? If you haven’t yet, we certainly hope you do now that you are aware of the different activities, events, and resources that are available to you and your family. With all that PWPLS has to offer, which of the activities or tools above will you explore? Are there other recreational pastimes or educational opportunities that we missed? If we did, please let us know. You can contact us at Creme de la Creme of Woodbridge, VA. anytime and we’ll add them to this helpful guide.