Things You Might Not Know Libraries Offer—And How to Take Advantage of Them This Summer

Summer has officially arrived, and as the days become warmer, many of us search for activities to escape the heat. Taking a day trip to the beach, working in a coffee shop, or watching a movie in the comfort of your own home might come to mind. We often fail to consider, though, a gem located in almost every town or city: the local library. 


Did you know libraries provide more than free book rentals? Your library card allows you to access several services you might not be aware of. From community spaces to online courses, libraries are a great resource to take advantage of this summer. 


Talk to your library about renting a space for a poetry book club or spoken word events.


If you’re searching for community, starting a poetry book club at your local library is a great way to meet new people with common interests. Whether you’re a poet seeking connection with other writers or a poetry enthusiast who enjoys reading and discussing books, organizing a club could be a fun and rewarding goal for this summer. Consider working with your library to expand the group by designing free poetry and spoken word workshops and hosting local poets. Because not everyone lives near a metropolitan area with frequent poetry events, you’ll be providing folks with free education and a creative outlet, which might be difficult to access otherwise.


Get free or discounted museum tickets.


Strolling through art or natural history museums is an enjoyable and educational way to spend a summer weekend. Is there an exhibit you’ve been eyeing, but you can’t afford full admission? Visit your local library to receive free or discounted day passes to local museums! Everyone deserves to experience art and cultural events and facilities, regardless of economic privilege.


Download eBooks.


Although avid readers often enjoy reading physical books, eBooks are both convenient and portable, easily readable from your smartphone or tablet. Visit OverDrive’s website to learn about accessing eBooks with your library card. Search the many titles available for download, and happy reading!


Learn something new by signing up for a free online course.


Are you interested in taking online courses this summer, but not so interested in the price tag that often comes with them? Whether you want to learn a new skill or expand your current knowledge on a topic, use your library card to choose from over 300 online courses through Gale Courses. From humanities and social sciences to interests and hobbies to science and technology, browse Gale Courses’ website to find a class you feel drawn to.


Libraries’ free access to services and information is invaluable, serving as a blueprint for a more just and equitable world. Whether you spend time at a library, or simply take advantage of resources to be used elsewhere, these spaces have so much to offer.