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When you think of a library, you think books. Which is correct…but there is a lot more to it than a pile of books.

Don’t get me wrong here. I love books and I prefer them to other reading devices. There is just something about curling up with a good book that a Kindle cannot replace. Your local library has a lot more to offer than you might think. They have community programs that help with education and even tax prep help. They have something for all ages. Check out your local library for programs and events that could help you out!

stack of colorful books filling shelves

For Rent:

The library is a place I have always been fond of. It allows me to wander and find some great reads, and doesn’t cost me a bunch of money, which I also adore. We all know you can check out books at this fabulous spot, but you can check out a lot more than just books. Need a certainbaking pan for a specific recipe? They have that. Want to grab a DVD or get a new book for your electronic device? They have that, too! Different branches may have different services. Check with your local branch to see what they have to offer.

small child in glasses reading book in library

Story Time:

This fantastic place has some great programs for the kiddos! They have story times for different ages and some Spanish language ones as well. They have an array of classes for a range of ages and activities. Older kids have access to tutoring as well.

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a great way to bond and learn reading skills. The program is simple. Read books to your child and keep a log. The goal is 1000 before your little person starts Kindergarten. And yes, you can repeat books! There are prizes along the way and a celebration at the library upon completion.

all white library with windows

Good Use: 

Your library can help with life, too. They have programs that offer assistance to a variety of circumstances. You can get assistance with computers such as basic training, access to online job applications, and help with email set up.

They can also help to get you set up with government assistance programs such as housing or food assistance, Medicaid and social security. Not all of us out there are adept at using online services, so this is an excellent support system for the community. It provides access for those that would otherwise slip through the cracks.

teen girl reading book leaning against shelves

Higher Education: 

Being a teenager is a weird time. Everyone is asking what you want to do for the rest of your life. I remember just trying to figure myself out. You could not pay me to go back to that time. I mean, I would totally rock my 18-year-old body with my now brain…I digress.

I do remember finding and getting into college felt really stressful. The library can help with that, too! There are college prep programs to help kids be ready. There is also help with finding financial aid and even applying. College is expensive and knowing all of your options is important.

young woman using computer in library

Get Involved: 

It’s people like you and me that make a difference. Extending a helping hand or kind words can go a long way. There is something about putting good out in the world that makes you feel good, too.

Want to do more to help your community? Volunteering and becoming a friend of the library is one way to give back. It can be small. If you are cleaning out and have gently used books and DVDs, donations are graciously accepted. The library also needs your time. Volunteers are what keeps fundraisers and book sales alive, and that keeps this wonderful community resource at our fingertips. 

Check out the Volusia County Public Library website for more information and the calendar of events!

Katie Swiss Britt bio

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