Tips & Advice

6 Reasons to Visit the Library
This Summer

by Dena McMurdie

Photo credit: Christopher Futcher, E+/ Getty Images

If you’re looking for some fun and free activities to do with your kids this summer, check out your local library’s events calendar. Libraries often switch things up during the summer months, so take a class, attend a seminar, or score some deals on used books. While activities will vary by library, here are some you can hope to find.

1. Summer Reading Programs
Most libraries have a summer program to keep kids reading while they’re not in school and give them a goal to work toward. The Santa Clara Library in California gives out reading logs for kids to fill out over the course of the summer, then return for a free book. They also have book clubs and discussion groups for older children and teens. Each summer reading program is a little different, so check with your local library and see what they have to offer.

2. Book Sales
Libraries take their excess inventory from donations, old books, and bestsellers that are no longer in high demand and have a massive book sale each summer. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up some great reads at a fraction of the retail price. Besides bagging some amazing deals on used books, you’ll also be supporting the library. Your money goes toward funding programs and future book purchases.

3. Craft Fairs
Many libraries have started hosting craft fairs in the summer where local artists and crafters can set up a booth with their wares. Take the kids along for a fun family outing of perusing stalls and enjoying the local talent. You may even find that one-of-a-kind item you didn’t know you needed.

4. Entertainment
Did you know that some libraries have started hosting outdoor events, including film festivals and live music concerts? Concerts usually last about an hour, so pack a picnic blanket, a snack for the kids, and relax in the shade with some great tunes. Invite some friends along to make the day even better!

5. Classes
Whether you want to attend storytime, meet local authors, start a business, or give your child something to do on a hot afternoon, the library offers classes for a wide variety of interests. Some libraries even offer help with genealogy, taxes, or learning a second language.

6. Free Materials
Books are the obvious benefit of going to the library, but many also lend music, movies, magazines, and audiobooks, and provide access to subscription-based websites and databases. The best part is that it’s all free! All you need is a library card.

These are just some of the reasons to visit your library this summer. To find out what your library offers, hop onto their website and find the events calendar, or visit the circulation desk and pick up a summer schedule. You’ll be surprised at what’s available.

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