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12 Things You Can Get at Libraries (Other Than Books)

When most people think of libraries, the first thing that comes to mind is books.  People have associated libraries with books and reading for so long that they often do not think that the library could serve any other purpose than providing people with books (and help with the occasional research question).  As technology has evolved and more people have turned to eReaders and the internet for their reading and research needs, many have questioned whether there is still a place for libraries.

But libraries are more than just warehouses for books.  Libraries exist to serve the needs of their communities, and as those needs have evolved, so have library offerings.  Some libraries have chosen to create makerspaces, while others have introduced new and interesting programming, such as butchering demonstrations, manga drawing, and video game tournaments.

Other libraries, though, have worked to meet the needs of their communities by expanding their collections.  These libraries lend a number of interesting items that community members need, and many of them have nothing to do with books.  So here is a list of 12 things you can check out from a library OTHER than books:

  1. Telescopes
  2. Museum passes
  3. Artwork
  4. A plot in a community garden
  5. Energy meters
  6. Cake pans
  7. Tools
  8. Bones
  9. Musical instruments
  10. Dogs
  11. Seeds
  12. People

starblast2As you can see, libraries have a great deal to offer their communities in addition to books.  With the help of libraries, people can work to make their houses more energy efficient, grow their own food, do some home repairs, learn to play a musical instrument, visit an interesting museum, look at the stars, meet a new person, or make a Batman cake.  Check out your local library to see what interesting collections and programs you might be able to take advantage of.

What cool items or programs does your library have to offer?  Is there anything you wish your library made available to the community?  Let Alison know in the comments, email her at ajglass@syr.edu, or find her on Twitter @alisonjane0306.

Alison Glass

Alison is a grad student in library and information science at the iSchool. Because she is perpetually indecisive and persistently curious, this is her third round of graduate school. Alison was a teacher in a previous life, and is interested in all things education, including information literacy, social media in the classroom, censorship, and the future of school libraries. She is addicted to Pinterest and chocolate. Find her on Twitter @alisonjane0306.

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  • Sarah Helson

    This is actually helpful for 613. Thanks for the great post!

  • Micha Monet

    This is one of the most uplifting posts I have found for a while. I am a HUGE book worm and while I don’t need an excuse to visit a Library, it was wonderful to learn some of the innovative ways that libraries are showing their diversity!

    I love imagining ways in which Libraries offer more than just books for personal growth and development or higher learning of any kind – be it through a video game, art, psychology, science, or gardening.