When is the last time you went to the library? Do you know where your nearest local library is located? Have your kids visited the library yet? Local libraries can sometimes be overlooked with quick access to so many resources through our smartphones and other devices, but that would be a mistake. Libraries offer so much more than a few books and magazines. West Chester, Ohio, is home to one of Ohio’s MidPointe Library locations, which is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

The library’s website or front desk are the best places to start when considering all your local library offers. Sign up for event updates so you can get email notifications about upcoming events or new programs. Here are several ways to take full advantage of your local library.

Opportunities for Small Children

A set of chairs for quiet reading at a local library.

Image via Flickr by librariesteam

If you’ve spent long days home with toddlers, you can appreciate the feeling of being out of ideas for entertainment or activities. Enlist the help of your local library. Littles ones, ages 1 and older, will find lots to enjoy and explore at the library. A play area offers tactile fun and learning for children in their early stages of development

The kids’ section of MidPointe Library is filled with books for all ages, starting with board books. This is a great place to browse when beginning the potty training process. There are tons of great children’s books about going potty, and reading books can help young kids make the connections they need to in order to learn such a new and sometimes difficult concept. You can also find books for any ideas your little one is interested in. Struggling with a fear of the dark? Search for books on the topic to help your kiddo learn to cope and understand. 

Children up to age 5 can be enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This program is free, and you’ll receive a free children’s book in the mail every month. 

Fun and Educational Activities for Elementary-Aged Kids

For preschool age through second grade, the MidPointe Library offers at-home craft kits. Each month a different craft will be offered. You can sign your child up for the craft online and reserve a kit. The kits include most of the materials you’ll need for the craft (you may need to provide water, glue, or rice, depending on the craft).  

Homeschooling parents and those hoping to support their children’s interests in particular subjects can find loads of educational resources at their local library. MidPointe has a collection of educational kits available to lend that include informational books and materials to supplement learning. Choose from kits like Life Cycle of a Frog, Human Brain Model, and Electric Snap Circuits. Kits can be found using the online catalog and reserved for pickup.

Older kids will learn valuable research techniques using the card catalog, archives, encyclopedias, and more. Yes, they can also learn to research information on the internet, but using the printed resources of a library provides a well-rounded and more thorough research experience. Thanks to the many computers available at the library, kids can also learn digital fluency. If you’re interested in rounding out your child’s education using digital resources and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) concepts, consider a Crème de la Crème Summer Camp

Resources for Adults

Take-and-make crafts are also available for adults. Just like the craft events for children, you can reserve a spot and pick up your craft supplies from the library during regular operating hours. Crafts include jewelry making, home decor, and other fun activities. Local libraries also offer meeting spaces for community and professional meetings, depending on the size and technological needs of the group. Spaces are reserved online or by phone. 

In addition to a huge collection of new and old books ranging from all different topics, libraries also lend out DVDs, CDs, printed music, audiobooks, and even board games. Host a game night with family or friends at home and borrow a few fun games from the library to try out. If you’re looking for a new hobby or a way to relax, consider borrowing some challenging jigsaw puzzles. 

Online Resources 

Whether you’re interested in audiobooks, eBooks, or need access to digital archives, the library has what you need. Even though libraries primarily lent printed materials during their first years of operation, they have kept up with technological developments and are a great place to find online resources. 

The MidPointe Library uses three main platforms for lending out digital materials: cloudLibrary, hoopla, and the Ohio Digital Library through Overdrive and the Libby App. These platforms allow you to download books, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, and comic books to a smart device for a set period of time, just as if you were borrowing a physical book. 

Research databases and digital archives allow you to find trusted articles on all kinds of different topics. Want to find your high school picture from freshman year? Several local school districts have digital copies of their yearbooks available to library cardholders. 

Other Services

MidPointe Library offers a wide range of services, from printing and copying to a curbside pickup service for reserved books and more. Even though there are many fun and exciting opportunities the library provides, don’t forget about the ways it could meet your practical needs. If you work remotely, the library is a quiet space with free internet access where you can go to work free from distractions. If your computer breaks or the internet is down at your house, the library also offers computer use for set periods.

Don’t miss out on these great opportunities for fun and learning that your local library has to offer. Other local library services include a library on wheels, classroom resources, senior programs, and at-home book delivery. At Crème de la Crème of West Chester, we support families as they strive to provide the best resources for their children, and libraries are an invaluable resource. If you’re looking for high-quality daytime childcare, after school care, or preschool, give us a call today.