When was the last time you went to your public library? When was the last time you used your local library for anything other than to check out a book? If it’s been a while then you may be in for a real treat. Libraries today are full service lenders with all kinds of interesting resources to inform and entertain you. Public libraries really can open the doors to the twenty-first century if you let them. These senior tips for using the library may help you to get started.
1. Books from Here There and Everywhere Certainly it is correct to still consider libraries the place to go to borrow books of every kind. But if you haven’t been to the library in some time you may not realize that many local libraries have enlarged their lending capacity through library networking via the Internet.
While you may not totally understand all the technology involved, it is enough for you to know that books that you want to read but which are not held in your own local library can often be found in other nearby or regional libraries. You can access those books through your library’s request system on line or on site at your local library. Submitting a request sets into motion a search for the book you have requested in all libraries in the network and within a few days the book you want to read is waiting for you at your library.
Many libraries also have borrowing agreements with nearby colleges or universities enabling you to borrow a book from an academic facility with the assistance of your public library.
So if you have stayed away from the library because you have determined its resources are too thin and you can’t find what you want , a good senior tip for better use of the library is to ask your librarian about the inter-library borrowing systems that might be in place at your library right now and how to access them.
2. Video and DVD Collections – For seniors on a fixed income, entertainment is often passed over as being too expensive. Who can afford the exorbitant cost of a movie ticket or the refreshment expenses that go with it? Your public library has stepped up to offer all card holders good quality entertainment at no fee.
Many public libraries now carry an extensive collection of videos and DVD’s that can be borrowed for a limited time. You can find travelogues, educational resources and plenty of quality movies for your entertainment and it won’t cost you a dime – unless you return it late! As with book borrowing, it is likely that your library can arrange for you to borrow videos and DVD’s from regional libraries thus expanding the number of your possible selections.
A helpful senior tip for better use of the library is to check out the video section and the inter-library catalog of available resources.
3.Puzzle and Game Collections Are you tired of your own collection of board games or jigsaw puzzles? If its been a long winter, the answer is probably yes. You might be surprised to discover that now even local, small libraries often offer board games and jigsaw puzzles to library card holders to check out or simple exchange at will.
A good senior senior tip for better use of the library is to check out what puzzles and games might be available to borrow and make good use of what you find.
On the other hand of your library does not have such a collection, you might really enjoy being the one to get such a collection started and operational at your library by soliciting puzzle and game donations and getting a corner set aside for their display. You might find yourself as entertained in getting such a collection started as you will be by doing the puzzles themselves.
4.On Site Activities With each passing year it seems that public libraries have become more than depositories from which to borrow. Instead they are, for many hours of each day, sanctuaries where all kinds of activities take place. For example many people who enjoy computers but do not have one at home come to the library and reserve time at one of the computer stations. Most libraries today have several computers available for public use. With a little planning seniors can come to the library to make use computer resources.
Public libraries can also furnish inquisitive seniors with copies of major newspapers from nearby metropolitan areas and small neighborhood weeklies. There are magazines covering ever area of interest. At the library all of this wonderful reading material is available all day long at no cost to the user.
Some public libraries have ongoing reading clubs, book fares, or coupon exchanges that can bring hours of fun socialization and entertainment to card holders. A good senior tip for better use of the library is to check your library bulletin board or talk to your librarian about special activities on the library calendar.
5.Off Site Activities Many seniors are willing and ready to go to nearby museums, aquariums and recreation areas but find the cost sometimes prohibitive. At many public libraries, thanks to the efforts of local business and civic groups, there are coupons available that can provide library card holders with reduced rates or free admissions to some of these attractions.
Senior citizens have the same, and sometimes more, need for entertainment and enrichment as any other segment of the population. Because of limited or fixed incomes seniors need to find the best entertainment values that are available. The best senior tip for best use of the library is simply to remind seniors to give the library a second look. You may be amazed at what you find.