More Than Books: 6 Services Patrons Can Get at Modern Libraries

More Than Books: 6 Services Patrons Can Get at Modern Libraries

Libraries have historically been considered a huge storage area for every kind of book imaginable; however, print books, journals and magazines are rapidly giving way to their digital counterparts. But libraries have risen to the challenge, offering even more ways to stay useful and relevant to the communities they serve. Here are six services patrons can get at modern libraries.

Use the 3-D Printer

Libraries are staying on the cutting-edge of technology by offering access to 3-D printers. Many libraries have what is commonly called a “maker lab” or “maker space,” which gives people access to technology that few have at home. In addition to making some really cool items to take home, patrons are also able to learn about engineering, math, and science. Learning how to use both the software and hardware associated with 3-D printers can prepare young people for tomorrow’s jobs.

Get Free or Discounted Passes to Local Attractions

Many libraries around the country have partnered with local attractions such as museums, aquariums, and zoos to offer free or discounted passes. All a patron needs is a library card in good standing. Much like checking out a book, the patron can keep the passes for a specified length of time before returning them. At some libraries, patrons may have to join a waiting list for a popular pass. Many of the passes will offer discounts for adults and complimentary entry for children. It’s a great way for residents of a city to explore their own area.

Use Meetings Rooms for Nonprofit Organizations or Businesses

For those looking for a reasonable venue to host a meeting, libraries have small to large rooms available. Some libraries even have auditoriums for community performances or programs. Nonprofits can use the rooms for free or get a discount. Business owners appreciate that they can rent a nice, quiet space for a reasonable fee.

Take Classes

Libraries offer a number of classes for free or for a small fee, whether for entertainment or education. English as a second language (ESL) classes are particularly popular in some areas. Other communities have free test prep programs for students preparing for college.

Search for a Job

More libraries are also putting those state-of-the-art computer labs to good use with job centers. People searching for employment can bring laptops to use free WiFi or reserve a computer to browse open positions. Librarians are on hand to aid job seekers with resume help and guidance on how to use the computers.

Reserve Movies or Music

In addition to audiobooks, libraries typically have an extensive collection of DVDs and CDs to check out. This comes in handy for any patron who likes to take a sample listen to their favorite band or give a courtesy view to that new movie starring their favorite actor. Reserving a movie from the library transforms a cheap movie night to a free one.

These services prove that the traditional library has changed to offer services and products that appeal to and serve a modern community.

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