10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do At Libraries

Many people claim libraries are dying. As e-readers surge in popularity, what’s the point of a place meant to borrow paper books? But libraries have long been community centers – and while books may be their main attraction, they offer a lot more. Here are 10 things you didn’t know you could do at libraries.

1. Work on your taxes.

Thankfully, we’re months away from April 15. But starting in January, you might be able to do your taxes at the library! Many libraries offer popular tax forms and their instruction booklets from January to April.

2. Get tickets to museums.

Don’t want to pay the exorbitant fees for all the attractions in your city? Some libraries offer passes that get you free or discounted entry into local attractions. Just make sure to show up early! They tend to get lent fast to those in the know.

3. Take a class.

Always wanted to learn Yoga or a foreign language? Many libraries offer classes in various disciplines – and oftentimes, the classes are free! Ask your librarian for the schedule to check out your options.

4. Learn about your ancestry.

If you’ve ever tried to look up your family history, you may have been shocked at the costs involved. Try asking your local library for help instead! Many have subscriptions to genealogy websites and other archives that you won’t have to spend a penny for.

5. Borrow scientific equipment.

Want to have a romantic stargazing date? You might be able to check out a telescope at your local library! Other scientific equipment libraries sometimes offer includes microscopes, globes and even animal skeletons. Maybe don’t bring the skeleton to your date, though.

6. Get a pedometer.

If you can’t afford a Fitbit, try checking out a pedometer from your local library instead! Many have ones they’ve received from community health organizations.

7. Find a job.

Libraries are an excellent yet oft-undervalued resource for job seekers. Yours might offer free resumé clinics, classes to brush up on skills you need or even career coaching! Libraries can also help you start your small business by letting you look at, say, a sample business plan.

8. Brush up on the arts.

If you want more art in your life but don’t want to spend too much cash, the library is the place to go. In addition to art classes, libraries often offer free movie nights or concerts from local groups. Some will even let you check out instruments or sculptures!

9. Take a practice test.

Need to get your GED or take a civil service exam? Not only can you check out study guides at the library, your membership might even get you access to free practice tests!

10. Bake a special cake.

Strange but true: several libraries around the country have collections of unusually shaped cake pans. Want to bake a special treat for your next superhero-themed party? Call your library up and see if they can help you out. You might want to avoid this if you have food allergies, though.

Liked this? Check out 10 Cool Bookstores in the United States!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: Kate. Get the picture. via Compfight cc

Many people claim libraries are dying. As e-readers surge in popularity, what’s the point of a place meant to borrow paper books? But libraries have long been community centers – and while books may be their main attraction, they offer a lot more. Here are 10 things you didn’t know you could do at libraries.

1. Work on your taxes.

Thankfully, we’re months away from April 15. But starting in January, you might be able to do your taxes at the library! Many libraries offer popular tax forms and their instruction booklets from January to April.

2. Get tickets to museums.

Don’t want to pay the exorbitant fees for all the attractions in your city? Some libraries offer passes that get you free or discounted entry into local attractions. Just make sure to show up early! They tend to get lent fast to those in the know.

3. Take a class.

Always wanted to learn Yoga or a foreign language? Many libraries offer classes in various disciplines – and oftentimes, the classes are free! Ask your librarian for the schedule to check out your options.

4. Learn about your ancestry.

If you’ve ever tried to look up your family history, you may have been shocked at the costs involved. Try asking your local library for help instead! Many have subscriptions to genealogy websites and other archives that you won’t have to spend a penny for.

5. Borrow scientific equipment.

Want to have a romantic stargazing date? You might be able to check out a telescope at your local library! Other scientific equipment libraries sometimes offer includes microscopes, globes and even animal skeletons. Maybe don’t bring the skeleton to your date, though.

6. Get a pedometer.

If you can’t afford a Fitbit, try checking out a pedometer from your local library instead! Many have ones they’ve received from community health organizations.

7. Find a job.

Libraries are an excellent yet oft-undervalued resource for job seekers. Yours might offer free resumé clinics, classes to brush up on skills you need or even career coaching! Libraries can also help you start your small business by letting you look at, say, a sample business plan.

8. Brush up on the arts.

If you want more art in your life but don’t want to spend too much cash, the library is the place to go. In addition to art classes, libraries often offer free movie nights or concerts from local groups. Some will even let you check out instruments or sculptures!

9. Take a practice test.

Need to get your GED or take a civil service exam? Not only can you check out study guides at the library, your membership might even get you access to free practice tests!

10. Bake a special cake.

Strange but true: several libraries around the country have collections of unusually shaped cake pans. Want to bake a special treat for your next superhero-themed party? Call your library up and see if they can help you out. You might want to avoid this if you have food allergies, though.

Liked this? Check out 10 Cool Bookstores in the United States!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: Kate. Get the picture. via Compfight cc

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