You likely think of the local library as a place where you can pick up books or maybe use a computer in a pinch. In fact, your local library offers much, much more than that. Your local library isn’t just for checking out books, although you’ll of course have access to so many wonderful books (in the traditional physical format as well as via e-books and audiobooks!) the moment you get your library card.

Our local library system, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, features a variety of events and exhibits as well as online and in-person resources. With so many great, free resources available, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Las Vegas put together this guide to some of the awesome ways you and your family can take advantage of the local library.

Access Online Resources Right From Home

A reader sits on a pile of books at the Las Vegas public library

person sitting on stack of books while reading” via Unsplash by gaellemarcel

Your library card gives you instant access to a wide array of free entertainment and learning resources. Even better? You don’t even need to leave home to enjoy them. Your library’s online resources takes your local library experience to the next level, so make sure you check out what’s available to you. Whether you’re looking for new reading material, music, movies, or anything in between, chances are, you’ll find it via the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.

So, what online resources does our amazing local library system offer? You can use apps like Hoopla and OverDrive to immediately borrow that title on your reading list in e-book format. Prefer to listen to an audiobook? Those apps give you access to those as well. You can even borrow digital comics via Hoopla.

That’s just the start, too. If you’re planning a movie night, you’ll have access to apps like Kanoko and Kanopy Kids to stream unique films. Want to delve into learning a new topic? Try out Great Courses. You can even listen to music via apps like Freegal and Hoopla. Your library card serves as your ticket to tons of free entertainment, so you can easily find what you’re looking for from your couch or on the go.

Explore Kid-Friendly Activities

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend time with your kids, you can’t go wrong with the kid-friendly events your local library offers. Weekly storytimes introduce young children to the library in a positive way, helping to instill a lifelong love of reading for your kids. Weekly reading events designed for kiddos ages five and under prepare young children for school by encouraging language building and early literacy skills.

Early literacy isn’t about teaching young kids how to read. Instead, it refers to skills that children need to understand before they can start reading and writing. All in all, early literacy skills are pre-reading skills, and these storytimes help create these building blocks in a fun and supportive environment. Bonus points? You’ll get to learn about an assortment of books and other materials appropriate for your kid.

LVCCLD also offers a wide range of learning resources for kids that you can access both in and beyond the walls of your home branch. For example, the library is the place to go — well, virtually! — for homework help and tutoring. Kids from early elementary school to advanced college prep can get expert online tutoring from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

Take Advantage of Adult Learning Opportunities

It’s not just kids who can leverage the library for learning. LVCCLD offers an Adult Learning Program to provide free educational classes to anyone 16 years old and older. Adults can learn new skills and expand employment opportunities by taking advantage of the variety of educational, enriching programs designed especially for adults in the community.

You’ll find programs for adults who don’t currently have a high school diploma, adults who are enrolled in secondary school, adults who read below an 8th-grade level, and adults who want to learn English as a second language. No matter which topics interest you, you’ll develop career-readiness skills while gaining access to learning tools and professional guidance as you make the next steps in your education and career.

Adults can also join a book club or make use of an abundance of online learning opportunities. Whether you want to start learning a new language or try your hand at various craft and DIY activities, our local library truly has something for everyone.

Enjoy the Artwork

Have we mentioned that libraries aren’t just for checking out books? If you want to check out some great artwork, look no further than the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District galleries. Our library system has demonstrated a longtime commitment to supporting local cultural arts, and that’s evident when you check out the galleries. Situated in various local branches, these galleries treat you to a diverse array of art, all right in your own backyard.

The LVCCLD galleries started in 1973 and have offered the community free cultural and educational resources ever since. The galleries promote artwork while providing opportunities from artists based nationally, internationally, and locally. The exhibition program includes 14 branch galleries. In total, the library offers about 80 shows per year, so you’ll have plenty to check out whenever you’re in the mood for some visually and conceptually engaging art.

The District also boasts a permanent art collection of more than 400 works, making this collection one of the most comprehensive compilations of local art that any public agency in Southern Nevada holds. The pieces span a variety of techniques and mediums, representing subjects that deal with the rich cultural backgrounds you’ll find in our community.

The power of our local library cannot and should not be ignored. We hope this list of some of the great resources our very own local library offers has you inspired to get the whole family library cards. Do you have a favorite event or resource you return to time and time again with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District? Drop us a line — we’d love to share your recommendation with other local families!