Use at the first sign of boredom.
That’s the slogan on my Edmonton Public Library card. And that’s what I do.
I use my local library all the time. I’ll confess, as an avid reader, the library has always been a big part of my life but since becoming a parent, it has taken on a much larger significance. My boys and I love our local library and, surprisingly, we get the most use of it during the summer months. Below are the top five reasons, why you need to check your local branch.
- Free programming. Lots and lots of free programming. From Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn for babies, to Lego at the Library, to video game competitions, there is something going on for everyone. My boys are currently in love with Lego at the Library but I’m noticing that Big Dude has become fascinated by the big screen television and gaming system in the pre-teen/teen area. Their summer programming is amazing and, also free, with activities for every age group.
- Free everything. It’s not just about books anymore. We borrow the latest movies (Hits 2 Go – are blockbusters that are available for a week rental with your library card), video games (all gaming systems have games available), music CDs and movies. Going on a road trip, visit your local branch and pick up some new music and some new books for the car.
- With two young kids, browsing for books is not possible but with the EPL app, I can browse online and place books on hold. My holds are then pulled off the shelf and are waiting for me when we arrive at the library. Place a hold on a new release and then wait for an email letting you know that your copy has arrived.
- Awesome staff. A few weeks ago, Big Dude asked me a series of questions about clouds (none of which I could answer). When I asked him where we could find some answers (I fully expected him to say Google or Siri), he laughed and said, “I’ll ask my library friend tomorrow.” And he did. With no assistance from me, a library assistant listened to his question, helped him look up titles on their database and then walked him over to the section. A few minutes later, she came back to say that she had found an amazing kid friendly website with videos and gave him the information.
- Digital access. With lots of digital access options, I’ll just touch on my favorites: Overdrive and Hoopla. Overdrive is great if you are an e-reader because you can borrow books and load them directly onto your e-reader. With the price of e-books steadily increasing this is a great way to read your favorite titles without committing to the full cost. Hoopla is my favorite way to access new music every month. With my library card membership, I can borrow up to 10 titles a month with a week-long lending period, I can access the latest music from my favorite artists or movies and either stream it or download it onto my device. Once again, load up before your next road trip. You can also borrow books and movies but I use it strictly for the music.
An added bonus in the hot summer months is the air conditioning that helps us cool down and escape th heat of the day. Library cards are free and if you have a new baby, please don’t forget to ask about their Welcome Baby program.e
Photo credit: Epl.ca
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