The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey boasts a large network of libraries, but it provides more value than just the books it contains. Your local libraries are a resource for so many things, including some activities and services that may even surprise you.

The best thing about your local library is that you don’t need to be there in person to take advantage of all it has to offer. Check out the list below to get the best of both in-person and virtual services provided by your local Somerset County library.

Check Out These Mobile Apps 

A selection of mobile apps that can help you better connect with the books in your local library.

Image via Flickr by Jemimus

The Somerset County Library System (SCLS) wants to make sure that you have access to whatever you may need, no matter where you are or what device you’re using. There are a number of mobile apps that you can download, depending on what you’re looking for. First of all, the Somerset County Library System app allows you to access the library system catalog, your account, your digital library card, e-books, and more.

SCLS also partners with OverDrive, a mobile app that lets you borrow e-books and audiobooks and stream videos that are available through the library. If you’re more of a magazine reader, then you should check out Flipster instead, an app that lets you access magazines online from the comfort of your home. You can also download them to your phone, tablet, or computer to read later.

It doesn’t stop with just reading, though. The Naxos Music Library is also available through SCLS, and you can stream over 100,000 CDs and 1.5 million tracks of music. Do you want to learn a new language? The Mango Languages app has you covered with over 60 different available courses. Finally, if you need to do research for work or school, the Access My Library (AML) app provides you with access to articles and research resources from the Gale databases.

Utilize a Number of Job Resources

You may not immediately think of the library when you’re looking for a new job, but you should. The best part is that the SCLS’s job services are virtual, which means that you can access them whenever and wherever you want.

For starters, the library website hosts a portal where you can search for job listings and hiring events. Do you need to create a resume first? Somerset provides plenty of helpful links that will guide you through the resume creation process. For example, you can check out the library’s Job and Career Accelerator for resume help, interview prep, and more.

The library has other helpful resources, as well. Check out the SCLS website if you’re looking to change your career, acquire new skills, or network virtually. There are also special resources for Spanish speakers, veterans, and people with disabilities. If all of this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. You can call or email to schedule a virtual appointment with an SCLS librarian.

Learn New Skills With

The Somerset County Library System also gives you access to an invaluable online learning resource: You can access through the library’s website, and this subscription service is free to use — all you have to do is provide your library card number and your library PIN.

Lynda is an online learning platform that contains lots of different creative and technical courses, from software development and business to photography and design. Industry experts teach each course, so you can rest assured that you’re learning from the best of the best. Lynda is great for learning skills to help you start a new career, exploring new interests and hobbies, or brushing up on any rusty skill areas. Be sure to take advantage of this free resource that would otherwise cost you a monthly subscription fee.

Take Advantage of In-Person Services

The Somerset County Library System boasts a plethora of virtual services, but what about in-person services? Check out the “Using Our Libraries” section of the SCLS website to see some of the services your local library has to offer. For instance, SCLS library staff provide exam proctoring services to patrons free of charge. You can call your preferred branch to schedule an appointment whenever you need to take the exam.

Several local libraries also offer notary services for all of your document needs. Additionally, some libraries have meeting rooms for you to book when you need a quiet place to study or a space for group projects and meetings. For a group to book a meeting room, one of the members must be a library cardholder. To book a room, you must file an application, and the sooner you file, the better. You can also book any equipment you need for the meeting when you make the reservation.

Your local library even has passport services. Be sure to check the SCLS website to schedule an appointment, find out what documents you need, and walk through the application process. You can use the library services to help you apply for your first passport or get yours renewed.

Besides all of these helpful services, you can also participate in in-person programs and events for kids, teens, and adults. For example, you can take part in your branch’s book discussions or check out the SCLS’s art spaces and exhibits.

While libraries are often overlooked, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a lot to offer in terms of resources. The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey has an abundance of services, both virtual and in person. From mobile apps that let you access e-books and magazines to career resources that help you learn new skills and apply for jobs, there’s so much available to help you learn and grow. So, the next time you’re looking for free and low-cost services, stop by your local library in Somerset County.

Did we mention all of your favorite library resources? If not, be sure to reach out to us at Crème de la Crème of Bridgewater, New Jersey, to let us know!