Your local library is a marvelous place with more to offer than just books. From classes to unique lendables, there’s something interesting waiting within its walls. Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of the Mount Laurel library on Walt Whitman Avenue.
No matter what’s got you inside this season, consider your library’s vast selection of downloads. With ebooks and audiobooks, thanks to apps like Overdrive and Libby, you can learn all about other cultures or embark on an action-packed adventure. Watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, and read your favorite comics through Hoopla.
Kanopy has streaming movies from indie classics to British TV, and RB Digital gives you access to thousands of magazines. Teens can study for their SATs, take a crafty video class on Creativebug, or catch a concert with Stingray Qello. The whole family can launch digital content right from your local library’s website, and most of it’s free with your membership.
Make It Programs
Mount Laurel’s library is a maker place. This means it facilitates learning by providing residents with access to new technologies, tools, and education.
Get to know the MakerBot Replicator 2 3-D printer. It works by putting down layers of hot plastic until it forms the desired shape. The library’s Singer’s Curvy Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine can be used to hem a pair of pants or for dabbling with e-textiles. The kids can learn the art of professional button making or parents can sign up your kindergartner for the Strawbees program. This award-winning construction system lets kids connect straws and cardboard to build mechanical objects.
Image via Flickr by shixart1985
Have you considered continuing your education? Universal Class, through your local library, offers courses on a variety of topics. Adults and older kids will also love studying something new through The Great Courses. These college-level classes are taught by some of the world’s most engaging professors. New language learners can take advantage of the popular Rosetta Stone program or try Mango Languages and Little Pim.
Improve your business skills with a software and technology refresher with Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning. Parents can polish up their resumes with the help of resources like Learning Express Library and Job and Career Accelerator.
Your local library has a plethora of services for kids of all ages, from fun events to special interest clubs, like the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Tweens will want to head to the library for First Chapter Friday, where they’ll read the first chapter of a new book. If it tickles their fancy, they can check out a copy and finish it at home.
There are a lot of opportunities to get your teens involved at the library. From volunteer opportunities to their very own study space, there’s something exciting here for them to do. They can also sign up for virtual movie and game nights or the anime club. It’s a safe and fun way for children grades 7 through 12 to stay in touch with friends.
Your school-age kids will love the available resources when they need homework help in any subject. Parents can download suggested reading lists and register the kiddos for all the interesting stuff that’s going on at the library.
Unique Lending Library
Were you under the misconception that the library only lends out books? In Mount Laurel, your budding pastry chef can borrow baking supplies, too, from farm shaped cookie cutters to a Jubilee Bundt pan. The next time your family wants to whip up something special, there’s no need to invest in a pan you may only use once. Remember to post and share a picture of your family’s creation on the library’s Instagram page.
Another often overlooked lendable at Mount Laurel’s library is its vast collection of DVDs and video games. Just like with books, you can search for DVDs and video games in the library’s catalog. Type “DVD” in the subject search box or “video games” in the title, subject, author search feature. The kids can even filter the results by console type. You can keep the DVDs and games for up to a week for free with your membership.
New Book Alerts
If you’re a family of avid readers, sign up for your local library’s new book alerts. This free online service showcases all the newest titles on the shelves at your branch. You’ll receive periodic email notifications and when you see a book that you’re interested in, just click “Check Catalog” to place it on hold for curbside pick-up. You can choose from several available categories, including fiction, non-fiction, books for children and teens, multimedia, large print, and award winners, so your family’s reading program never stalls.
Like most libraries, your Mount Laurel branch offers various business machines for public use. It has two self-service copy machines, and copies are only 15 cents each. There are also scanning services in two locations throughout the building. There’s a self-service fax machine for outgoing faxes only that works seamlessly with your credit or debit card, and it sends a confirmation text to your phone.
Need to shred old tax returns or other confidential documents? You’ll find a shredder free to use in the copier room. Is your laptop on the fritz? Use a computer at the library. You can even schedule a half-hour basic computer training session with a staff member. Instructions for using each piece of equipment are posted nearby but don’t hesitate to ask a librarian or volunteer for help if you need it.
Fall in love with your local library. There are so many ways to take advantage of this terrific institution, from entertainment to loads of free resources. This list was brought to you by Crème de la Crème of Mount Laurel, New Jersey. What are your family’s favorite things to do at your library? Let us know so we can add it to our list.