10 Reasons to Love the Loudoun County Public Library

Today I brought the kids to the library for a class; a totally free, educational, age-appropriate class. There were only a few kids in the class, perfect for my daughter who does best in small groups. They had a story read to them, discussed the theme, and then worked on a project.

The library, in my opinion, is one of the least utilized resources in Loudoun County. In addition to books, libraries have lots to borrow, free programs for adults and children, and access to online databases that you’d otherwise have to pay for.

Why the Library is Great

Borrow instead of buy.

The library loans out books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, video games, magazines, video players for children, and even eBooks and eAudiobooks. If you do want to buy books, check out some of the great sales in our area.  New in August of 2019, Loudoun County Public Libraries eliminated late fees for borrowed items. You can check out 50 items at a times, keep DVDs for a week and every thing else for three weeks. Any items you have checked out will automatically renew up to three times unless someone else is waiting for it.

Get it & keep it free.

  • Did you know that you can download free MP3s with your library card? The download service is Freegal and limits you to 5 downloads per week.
  • The library has free Wifi. You can sit there all day if you want without paying for internet or feeling like you need to keep buying lattes and muffins as you would at some Wifi hot spots.

Access to lots of databases.

I counted over 50 different databases when I wrote this. The database section is worth perusing when you have time. While some might seem geared toward students, there is lots more, too. Many of the sites would cost you money to use, but you can use them for free with your library card. Sites include: Value Line Research Center for investment guides, Small Business Resource Center, Mango Languages (there is actually a pirate language class,) Legal Forms, Consumer Checkbook, Chilton Library for DIY car repair.

Maker Spaces.

Four of Loudoun’s libraries have maker spaces outfitted with equipment such as sewing machines, sergers and embroidery machines. There are electronics to tinker with like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Create hard to find pieces yourself using Tynkercad and bringing the file to print on one of their 3D printers (pay by weight – and it really is totally affordable.)

Classes for Children.

Kids can pick up social skills while learning, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. From drop-in story times for babies to classes for older elementary students, theres lots to choose from. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Programs for adults.

There are fewer of these, but there is usually something each week geared towards teen and adults. Subjects range from book clubs, historical lectures series, to computer classes and writing workshops. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Teen Centers.

A couple libraries in Loudoun County feature teen centers. These are safe gathering places for teens where they can just hang out, play games, be creative, study, and even sign up for volunteer hours in other parts of the library. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Free Shows.

This is especially true in the summer. Libraries around Loudoun County have hosted live shows including: Reptiles Alive, The Great Zucchini, Wildlife Ambassadors, Rocknoceros Band, Wizard of Oz by the Hamstead Stage Company, Life in Space by the Franklin Institute of Science. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Volunteer Opportunities.

Loudoun County Public Libraries provide opportunities for volunteering for teens as young as 12. The variety of tasks and flexibility in scheduling means there is something for most ability levels and interests.

Librarians.

 

Well, really, they are the ones that make it all happen, They are a great resource. Hats off to the librarians!

 

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