Make the Most of Your Library Card

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Library DVD Collection. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

In the habit of using your library card to check out books? If that's all you're doing with it, you're really missing out. Nowadays a library card can be used to access all sorts of free services and materials.

Your library card may allow you to check out

  • Movies
  • e-books
  • Games, puzzles and children's toys
  • Magazines (both hard copies and digital copies)
  • CDs
  • Video games
  • Audio-books (both CDs and digital format)
  • book club kits (with a discussion guide and enough book copies for your entire group)
  • Museum pass (to get you into area attractions for free)
  • Mobile hot spot (so you can access high-speed Internet on the go). Expect to pay a nominal fee for this service

It may also allow you to

  • Use library computers and the Internet
  • Access special electronic collections (like genealogy databases)
  • Use 3D printers (over 250 libraries in the U.S. have them)
  • Reserve rooms or study spaces (either for free or for a nominal charge)
  • Reserve new-release books and movies before the library even gets them in
  • Take advantage of free career services (help with your resume and job applications, access to job listing databases, etc.)
  • Stream free movies
  • Take online courses
  • Participate in special classes and programs (many libraries now offer summer reading programs for adults and teens, complete with prizes)
  • Transfer materials from other library systems

    Want to find out which of these services your local library offers? Surf over to their website or stop by your local branch to find out.

    And If You're Too Busy To Stop By the Library ...

    That's no longer a problem. Just request an online pin, and you can check out ebooks, digital magazines and movies from home.

    You don't have to worry about making it to the library during business hours, or worry about getting materials back on time. When your books and movies are due, they're automatically removed from your device(s).

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