How To Get The Most Out Of Your Public Library

I’m constantly amazed by the number of people in my life who say “Oh yeah, the library…I forget about that,” when we discuss books. (I’m still not sure how anyone can forget libraries exist)

Libraries are so much more than a building that houses books. If you’ve been meaning to get to your library but haven’t lately, or are looking to get your hands on some new reading material this summer, here are my best suggestions for how to make the most of the library in your community!

  1. Go to the library

Many readers cite fines as the main reason they don’t use a library. You don’t have to check out books. Go look around, take your kid to story time, attend a lecture. Most libraries host a wide array of events year round. Check out your library’s website, I bet you’ll find something interesting and free you’d like to go to. It’s also a great place to go to get work done.


My husband doing some browsing


2. Check out something other than a book

People tend to forget a library houses more than books. CDs, DVDs, magazines, and maps are a few of the things I’ve used at the library.


3. Put books on hold

Depending on the library, availability of popular titles can often be limited. Put a book on hold so you’ll be notified when it’s ready for you. My library does have a few copies of books that can’t be put on hold or renewed, due to their popularity, but they usually have additional copies that can be.


  1. Borrow digital resources without leaving your house

Most public libraries now offer digital content for loan. Using an app called Overdrive, I can log into my library account and borrow audio books and e-books. They’re super easy to download to my devices and easy to return. Bluefire and EPUBlicLibrary are a couple of other options your library may use. The best thing about these digital books is they automatically expire at the end of your load period, so no late fees!

Screenshot from Overdrive



  1. Go to a used book sale

I’ve mentioned this before as a great resource for finding cheap books. If you prefer to own rather than borrow, book sales are a great way to support your library.


  1. Utilize the librarians

Back before we could Google answers to all our questions, libraries were the place to go to get the information you need. Librarians know a lot of stuff, and if they don’t have your answer they love to help you look for it!




Do you use your public library regularly? Why or why not?

Does my list inspire you to use your library?


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