Your local library offers an amazing way to get the whole family interested in reading. But libraries these days are not only for books. In fact, you can enjoy a wide range of resources and activities once you have a library card in hand. From e-books and virtual learning tools to interactive activities and more, there’s something for every area family to love at the library.

Not sure how to take advantage of all the great things the Arapahoe Libraries feature? Let Crème de la Crème of Centennial show you some of the highlights of our favorite local spot.

Read, Learn, and Play Via the Virtual Library

A person reading from an ereader outdoors

person reading story” used with permission via Unsplash by perfecto_capucine

You don’t have to leave home to take advantage of tons of amazing library offerings. The Arapahoe Libraries system features a virtual library that lets you use your library card to access an array of digital materials. From books to movies to music and beyond, there’s something for everyone here.

You’ll have access to a variety of popular online resources, including hoopla, Kanopy, Libby (Overdrive’s mobile app), and more. Listen to an audiobook, read an e-book, or stream a film for movie night at home. Looking to enhance your coding skills, learn a new language, or further your career? You’ll have plenty of learning tools at your fingertips, too.

That’s just the start. The virtual library features creative videos to inspire your next DIY or cooking project, not to mention genealogy resources, access to your favorite magazines and newspapers, and so much more. All in all, no matter your interests, you’re sure to find tons of material to keep you entertained when you explore your local library’s virtual offerings. You’ll find lots of material suited to kids as well, so you can show your kiddos how much the local library has to offer without ever leaving home.

Access Awesome Online Resources for Kids

Looking for resources created with kids in mind? Your local library has you covered. You’ll find a range of arts and literature resources geared toward curious kiddos. There’s no better way to inspire a lifelong love of reading in your kids than by introducing them to their local library early on, and Arapahoe Libraries certainly deliver.

BookFlix is one of the many resources available specifically for kids. It pairs video storybooks with related nonfiction e-books to help early readers practice their skills while creating fun links between fact and fiction. Then there’s NoveList K-8, which features book lists and series information for learners in kindergarten through eighth grade. You can also download kid-friendly e-books and videos using OverDrive for Kids, or dive into TumbleBooks for interactive stories, games, and puzzles. It’s safe to say you’ll find a reading activity for your kids thanks to our local library.

Take Part in Kid-Friendly Summer Reading Challenges

Of course, you won’t want to miss this local library’s take on summer reading. Our library makes reading fun for kids over the summer with this expansive program. Get started by taking your child to get their free book, since the library invites everyone between the ages of 0 and 18 to visit a library location and get a book of their own.

That’s not all our library offers over the summer to get young readers excited to explore new books. If you’re not sure what books your child will enjoy, the library takes the guesswork out of making reading fun by curating lists of featured books for teens, tweens, and younger kids. The library also created a bingo sheet for kids to present a fun, interactive challenge. You can even click on the squares on their website for tips and hints to help kids finish their sheet.

Each library location also features a life-size collage over the summer. Kids can share their favorite parts of their hometown with words, drawings, and more. It’s yet another way the Arapahoe Libraries system strives to get young readers connected with and inspired by their local library.

Check Out More Than Just Books

If you have an Arapahoe Libraries card, it’s not only books you can check out. Our library makes it easy to get out and explore Colorado thanks to two unique passes: the Exploration Pass and the State Park Pass.

Plan a trip to an exciting Denver location using an Exploration Pass, which grants you admission to several attractions in the Denver metro area. You can book up to two passes at one time, and each pass will cover two or more visitors. In other words, you can easily plan a family adventure for free thanks to these amazing passes!

You can book passes up to 30 days in advance, but keep in mind that the pass itself won’t guarantee entry to the attraction you want to visit. Check directly with your destination to make sure you can reserve a scheduled entry time.

The Adventure Backpack is another super popular item at the Arapahoe Libraries. If you’re looking to explore nature in our state, you’ll want to look into this great opportunity from our local library. The Adventure Backpack includes everything you need to plan a fun-filled adventure outdoors, including a State Parks guide, Colorado outdoor guides, activity ideas, binoculars, and of course, a pass to any of the 42 state parks in Colorado.

You read that right. An Adventure Backpack includes a free state parks pass, which grants you access to any Colorado State Park. You can check out the pass for a week, so you’ll have endless opportunities for a family adventure once you get this backpack in hand.That wraps up Crème de la Crème of Centennial’s guide to our amazing local library. Whether you’re looking for ways to read with your kids on the go, you want some learning resources for yourself, or anything in between, this library has it. The truth is, there’s so much to love at Arapahoe Libraries, we couldn’t cover it all! So, if you have a favorite activity, event, or resource you think other local families can’t miss, make sure to drop us a line. We’d love to check out your recommendation so we can add it to this list.