Do you want to learn how to take amazing pics with your iPhone, how to start a business or teach your kid a new language? Great! The public library can help you with all that, and then some.
If you don’t know much about me and my kings, let me tell you, we love the library! Some of our best times (at least for me :), are the mother-and-son dates I sometimes have with each kid. Our moments typically include a stop at the library to peruse books, then lunch and chat afterwards.
Your public library is a treasure trove for information and you could practically homeschool for free, just using their resources. (I know some moms who have done just that!).
The library, obviously, has books. 🙂 They also have e-books, classes, workshops, books signings, summer reading programs, personalized book selections, test prep, homework help, tutors and more. Even better, some paid programs, such as Rosetta Stone and Lynda, now have partnerships with many libraries. Offered for free with your library card. I’ve taken quite a few online classes on writing for the web and learned so much, for free, and from the comfort of my home.
As far as how the public library came into being, we have Benjamin Franklin, who is titled as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, to thank for that. His love of books and knowledge motivated him, and a few others, to start a public library. On July 1, 1731, the Library Company of Philadelphia was born.
Fifty founding members donated 40 shillings to begin the collection and promised an additional 10 shillings annually to allow the library to grow. The Library Company, set up in the home of the librarian, was open only on Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m. Members had free rein, but, if they lost a book, they were fined twice its price. Non-members were welcome to use the collection, but they had to offer collateral in case books were never returned. Read more…
119, 487 public libraries
Evidently, the idea caught on! Today we have approximately 119,487 public libraries across the U.S.
Therefore, in honor of National Library Week, here’s a run down of some of the awesome resources you and your kiddos can access at your local library.
(Your library may have similar offerings as well. Just ask a librarian.)
Online Resources (click the links to access over 150+ resources!)
- American Culture
- Arts & Culture
- Audio & e-Books
- Books & Literature
- Comics & Graphic Novels
- General Research & Encyclopedias
- Geography & World Cultures
- Government & Law
- Health & Medicine
- Jobs & Career
- Magazines & Newspapers
- Science and the Environment
- Debate/Social Issues
- Get Help 24/7 – Maryland AskUsNow
In The Library You Can:
- Borrow Books, Audiobooks, Films, TV Shows, Music & More
- Access Computers, the Internet & WiFi
- Utilize Study Areas
- Ask a Information Specialist (a.k.a. a librarian)
- Have Fun! Local libraries have events for all ages. Find out about them on the library’s website
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” Benjamin Franklin
With over 150 free resources available at many public libraries, information is only a click or quick stop away. I usually say “There is no excuse for ignorance these days”, but, Benjamin Franklin, says it best, “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” Franklin wanted the joy he found in the written word throughout the community.
And here’s another fun fact about Ben. Not only did he love books, he apparently loved organization just as much! I think he and I would be total BFFs!
For me, there is something magical about even the smell of the books in the library. New books have their crisp smell and old books are perfumed with all of the history its seen and hands that have flipped its pages. Golly (in my best Goofy voice)!!! I love books!
If you haven’t visited a library in a while, take the opportunity to check them out for National Library Week. Have a chat with the helpful librarians and go dig into a good book.
Happy National Library Week! In celebration of all libraries, public, school, academic or even your library at home. 🙂
We are grateful for our public libraries and I pray it will be an educational institution that will be preserved for generations to come.
Here are some of our other library hang-outs in D.C. Metro area
What’s your favorite thing about your local library?