10 Perks You May Be Overlooking at Your Public Library

an adult and child kneel and look at children's books at library
I often joke that the library is our second home and that library fees are a part of my homeschool budget. It is not unusual to find us there three days or more in any given week. Here are ten benefits our library offers our homeschool and enriches our experience. Make sure you aren't missing out on any of these resources your library offers you as a home educating family.

1.  Books! Audio Books! Movies! Magazines!

If I had to buy all the books, audio books, movies and magazines that we read, listened to, or watched in a single year I’d go broke. Our library has a huge selection of materials and so many more available through interlibrary loan that I could not imagine homeschooling without it. We’ve even found curriculum through our library!

2.  Free Online Resources

Through our library we have access to free online resources like Audible, Tumble books, and Overdrive. Check with your library to see what they offer. Many have subscriptions to foreign language programs like Mango Language. Your library pays for it, but it's free for you! It's worth asking a librarian or poking around your library system's website to find all the hidden goodies.

3.  Access to Technology

We often head to our library merely to use the wifi and computers. Our library even offers access to a 3-D printer as well as a mini class in how the 3-D printer works.

4.  Special Programs and Events

Most libraries offer story time and summer reading programs. Although most of these programs are timed for kids in public schools, it's easy enough to flex your schedule so you can participate. Our librarians are great about offering programs for kids of all ages. We’ve learned about animals, had the opportunity to take apart an old computer, and taken part in a gingerbread making night.

5.  Free and Discounted Passes

10 Perks You May be Overlooking at Your Public Library

Our library offers free and discounted passes to local state parks, museums, zoos and aquariums! Does yours? You won't know until you ask. 

6.  A Fresh Location for School

We bring board games, books, snacks, and make a fun morning of schooling at the library. This is particularly useful to us in the winter when we're sick of being cooped up in the house.  

7. The Use of Community Rooms

Our library has large rooms that we often use to host homeschool science fairs, game days, crafting days, and more. Again, these rooms are particularly helpful in the winter when we can’t meet up with friends at the park or playground.

8.  Cheap Used Books

Once a year, our library has sales on older books or donated books in order to raise funds. We often pick up books for just a few cents. Then after we are tired of them, we donate them back to reduce clutter in our home.

9.  Community Events

While I already mentioned our library hosts many events for children, it also has a huge bulletin board informs us about events and classes happening all around our community — carnivals, festivals, exhibits, fairs, free lectures, and more. Many of these events are free or low cost, and they often provide a real-life facet to our homeschool studies.

10. New Music

Our library has music CDs we can check out, helping us broaden our exposure to different types of music.  

If you think your library doesn't have all of these resources, you may simply be unaware of all the possibilities available to you. Make an appointment with a librarian to offer you a personalized orientation to the library. You could even organize a library day for your homeschool co-op so that multiple families get the benefit of the introduction. 

See BookShark Reading with History Programs