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  1. Wow- these are all great ideas! Exercise DVD’s make a ton of sense. But I’d never think that my library would have museum passes. Totally going to go check that out (library humor, har har).

    • Sounds like you are making good use of your library card. I bet you will find even more things to utilize now!

  2. Love the library! My library also has Zinio which allows me to digitally check out magazines. I check out over ten a month, there are lots more available, and read them on my iPad. Best.thing.ever. because no magazine pile!

  3. My sister lives south of Boston and her local library offers beach parking passes to check out in addition to museum passes. As you can imagine, it’s a very popular option so she finds it easiest to snag one during the week, instead of on the weekends.

    • Our library also has access to lots of online databases such as consumer reports and ancestry.com. Also don’t forget about special programming–in addition to story time my kids have also attended a comedy show, a teddy bear picnic with love music, a hip hop dance class, and a program on”ancient engineering” put on by the University natural history museum. All free! Not to mention great used book sales! We love the library!

      • That all sounds so great! I think our local library has an ancestry program too, I need to look into that more. Thanks for all the suggestions!

    • Oh wow, that is such a great perk. As someone who visits a lot of California beaches, this would be so helpful!

  4. We used to check out cookbooks from the library in Maine when we went on vacation since it is always a great time to try new recipes. Also puzzles! I have even heard of libraries who loan sewing machines. I am a total library fan. 😊

    • Puzzles! What a great idea. And I would love to be able to check out a sewing machine, that way I wouldn’t have to have it in my house all the time.

  5. One of our previous libraries also had a… I forget what it was called, but a thing you could plug in between an appliance and the wall to tell you how much power it was draining, so you could go around your house and figure out good solutions for things that were still draining power while “off” (like TVs or computer screens). But good luck finding out they had that unless you already knew to search for it! University libraries (and maybe some public libraries? who knows!) sometimes have devices you can check out, too; cameras, video cameras, laptops, etc.; great for projects or for trying things out. Many public libraries have scanning/fax and various computer facilities available as well – great for the just-starting-out small home business that hasn’t yet scaled up to needing all that. And then there are the income tax resources! I hope libraries never lose the Real Paper Books part, but they have an amazing number of non-book community resources as well.

    • Yes! I used the library a ton when I was first applying for jobs and getting my resume together.

  6. I love checking out ebooks from my library because it doesn’t require going to the actual library and it can’t be kept over the due date (you just lose access).
    When I was a child, our library had music CDs for check out. Many were classical or Broadway musicals, which I very much enjoyed!
    Has anyone heard of Playaways? They are an audio book on an MP3 player…you just supply your own AAA battery and ear buds. I have several friends who especially like them for young children because they are so easy to use with just a play/stop and volume buttons. And no CDs to scratch or lose!

    • Our library has TONS of Playaways, and they have them for adult books too! A friend of mine who is a little older doesn’t want to mess with audiobooks on her phone, so she just gets the Playaway and goes for her daily walk with the Playaway in her pocket – they’re very lightweight!! :-)

      I love being able to renew my books online, and if the library has a book I want, I just click “reserve” and they pull it for me and put it in on the Holds shelf. Then I can just run in and pick up my books! I love this! Our library also has iPads for loan!

  7. Our local library has tools and fishing poles (and I’m sure other things I”m not aware of) that can be checked out which I think is FABULOUS!

  8. Our library checks out baking pans – it has dozens of Wilton and specialized baking pans for special occasions. The library also offers free notary public services, tax help in the spring, and tech tutors to help people learn how to navigate tablets, e-readers, computers, et al. It also has “book club” books – a box of multiple copies of the same book so you can do the book club thing without the expense. My library is awesome!

  9. Don’t forget lots of free events and programs and our library offers free tutoring in any subject for kindergarten through 12th grade. Also free Ancestry.com

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