As temperatures drop, it’s time to rediscover the joy of indoor activities with the family. If you’re struggling to find an alternative to the park or playground, why not consider revisiting your local library?

In my younger days (yes, pre-internet if you must know!) I often found myself at the library working on school projects or checking out the latest regency romance novels. A few decades on, while I still love regency romance, libraries now offer so much more for parents and kids alike.

Nowadays, you don’t even have to leave home to take advantage of the offerings at the library. Most libraries have moved online, allowing you to reborrow and place holds on books as well as access a world of information, without leaving home. This has really helped us, especially on those days when it’s been impossible to get anyone out of the house.

More than a source of information, libraries have become an integral part of the local community, hosting events, running workshops and serving as a meeting place for local groups. I’m constantly amazed at the various programs being offered at my library, most of them free.

I didn’t fully appreciate everything our local library offered until we became more regular visitors this year. My youngest daughter now attends two after school sessions there – Lego club on a Tuesday and Crafternoons on Thursdays – indulging in her passion for creation and craft.

During this time, we’ve grown to know the librarians and have found out more about the services they offer. Most recently, we’ve been able to connect my older daughter with others her age who share in her love of Japanese cinema and culture!

If you haven’t been a regular visitor to your local library for a while, here are 5 reasons you should head back in and check out everything they have to offer.

 

More than books

Libraries have completely transformed since our younger days. You can still go and look at books and reference material – that will never change. But nowadays you can also access CDs, DVDs, ebooks, magazines and newspapers. Most libraries will also offer the use of computers, complimentary internet access and help you find answers not even Google can solve!

 

Online treasure trove

If getting to the library is the issue, head online and discover the many resources you can access without even leaving the house. Our local library offers free access to online music libraries, movie streaming services, online tutoring services, a vast library of electronic books and resource sites, such as Lynda.com. A treasure trove of online resources for work and play.

 

After school activities

Check to see if your local library holds after school or school holiday activities. This is a great alternative if you’re looking for a warmer indoor activity during the winter months. Examples of the activities offered by local libraries include craft, coding, lego, writing and story time sessions.  If your library doesn’t currently run sessions, ask if they can – it never hurts to ask!

 

Community hub

Libraries bring together people with a range of different interests, passions and hobbies. From community meetings to book clubs to movie groups, local libraries hold a unique place in the local community. You may be able to learn a new language, refine your art skills, join a historical society or find a group of like-minded local parents to hang out with at your local library.

 

Connections

For a place that used to be defined by silence, modern libraries are now a hive of activity and connection. It’s a meeting place for young and old, a centre for stories and imagination and a place where anyone can access technology, information and other resources. If it’s been a while since your last visit, it might just be time to head back in and see everything that your local library can offer.

 

You may also like to read:

Too many books? I think what you mean is not enough bookshelves

Tips to get Children Excited about Reading

A child who reads will be an adult who thinks