One of the best ways to introduce your children to reading is to take them regularly to your local library. The Chanhassen Library, which is a branch of the Carver County Library, offers a wide range of in-person and digital services that your entire family can use and hosts fun, educational events throughout the year for grown-ups and children. All you need is a library card, which is available for free to all residents of Carver County, to take advantage of print books, e-books, audiobooks, and other online resources as well as attend their events. Here are our favorite things to do at the library.

Go In-Person or Pick Up Your Books

You can visit the Chanhassen Library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. On these days, the library offers Grab and Go services where you can access the books, magazines, and newspapers in the library collection, pick up the books you had on hold, and use the library computers and study spaces in short visits of 30 minutes to up to two hours.

If you can’t make it to the library but still need some books, go for Curbside Pickup, depending on the weather. You can call the staff or go online to reserve the books and resources you need, then you can head to the designated table inside the library, or the staff will bring them outside for you.

Explore Online Library Resources

If you just want to browse at home, try any one of the online databases of books, magazines, audiobooks, and entertainment the library offers. 

For e-books and audiobooks, download the Cloud Library app, log in with your library card, and check out items for up to three weeks. Or you can try Ebooks Minnesota, which has a digital collection of over 10,000 books with featured collections of local writers and publishers from around the state. To further support local writers, head to the MN Writes MN Reads digital platform that hosts content by local indie and self-published authors. Finally, flip through some magazines using the RBdigital platform where you can access the publications for as long as you want.

Print What You Need, When You Need

If you need something printed but don’t have a printer or are on the go, the library offers mobile and wireless printing services. You can visit the PrinterOn website or download the app, select the printer, city, and library, and choose to get black-and-white or color prints. Costs vary by the number of pages and type of ink, but all you have to do is stop by the library and pick up your printed project during open hours. You can also print small projects of 10 pages or less in black and white during Grab and Go hours for no additional cost.

Get the Kids Involved

The children's section of a local library.

Image via Flickr by librariesteam

The Chanhassen Library offers programs and activities for young people from infant age all the way up to 18 years old. 

Perfect for toddlers and young elementary-school-aged kids, Storytimes are virtual events based on the five best practices for early literacy: read, write, play, talk, and sing. So join the local library on Facebook Live for stories, singing, and lots of fun. If you’ve got a bookworm in the family, have them try the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge! Just keep track of what you and your kids are reading together to see what prizes they can win at different milestones to 1,000. 

When the kids get older and go into their teen years, programs like TEENtober, book clubs, and themed arts and crafts can foster a love of reading and promote their love for the library. 

Seek Additional Classroom Help

The library has a wealth of learning resources to help children succeed in school. You can browse through a vast amount of library resources for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school students, like Middle Search Plus, Explora Kids, and Britannica Online. There are high-school-level platforms, too, when the kids get older.

Get online, one-on-one tutoring in math and reading from Scholar Squad for kids up to 8th grade. Or opt for fun math problems from Bedtime Math with which you can let your child do problems on their own or make it a team effort with the whole family. And for all the science lovers in the family, try resources like Zooniverse and Science Buddies.

Use the Research Resources

For students doing in-depth research, Chanhassen Library provides access to research databases like EBSCO and OCLC. They can just use their library card to access reliable, official print, and online resources such as newspapers, journals, magazines, academic articles, encyclopedias, books, and multimedia. They can also peruse historical periodicals, source materials from archives, museums, and historical societies, and biographical content, images, and videos.

Additionally, parents can check out research for work or personal enrichment. Want reference information on any topic? The library’s research database lets you find all kinds of information on just about everything, from art, music, health, medicine, agriculture, history, literature, social studies, science, geography, politics, economics, business, education, sports, and more. You can even read business periodicals, economic data, market research, and industry information. 

Visit the Adult Learning Center

It’s never too late to learn something new and achieve your learning and career goals. The Carver County Library System lets you connect inside the library to the Brainfuse Adult Learning Center. Here you can brush up your skills or acquire new ones with services like live tutoring, skill-building, writing training, a testing center, and question help.

You can take also check out the career services help or get a one-on-one tutor between 1 p.m and 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. You can also access the Adult Learning Center from outside the library using your library card.

In addition to all these useful resources, the Chanhassen Library also provides a mobile app with which you can access your library account, search the library catalog, place holds, access online resources, view the events calendar, and more. You can also make use of mobile WiFi hotspots. Are there any other in-person or virtual library services available at the Chanhassen Library? Reach out to Crème de la Crème of Chanhassen, MN. and let us know!