Local libraries have undergone major transformations over the past thirty or so years. Gone are dusty stacks of books and stuffy librarians who insist on complete silence. The books are still there, but there are many more, and a much greater variety. And in addition to books, you've got a slew of other resources to keep yourself and your kids entertained -- many of them free!
- CDs and DVDs Many libraries now offer a wide variety of music CDs, books on CD, and TV and movie DVDs for both kids and adults. Selections often include newer popular titles.
- Museum Passes Check your local library's website, and you may find a selection of museum passes available, as well. These passes offer free or discounted admission at local museums and even state parks. As an added bonus, many libraries now offer these passes as "print on demand," which means that you don't have to physically go to the library to get the pass -- just reserve it online and print it at home. (Some passes still require in-person reservation and pick-up, so check with your library.) You will need a library card to reserve and print passes.
- Children's (and Adult) Programs Storytimes, music concerts, arts and crafts sessions, reading programs, community events -- libraries are homes to tons of free programming for patrons. Some of these activities and events are listed in the "Events" calendar, so be sure to check it out! But the best resource is your library's webpage or newsletter, as these programs are varied and plentiful. There are simply too many to list! Just be sure to check with the library ahead of time, as many programs require registration prior to the program's beginning.
- Computers and Games From board games to computer terminals to train tables -- even 3D printers! -- libraries offer a variety of items to educate and entertain visitors. Some libraries will have play areas specifically for younger children. Some will have separate areas just for teens.
- Download to Your Device Through 2 services: OverDrive and Hoopla, you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks and download them directly to your phone, tablet, or computer. You don't even need to go to the library! You can browse and download from the comfort of your own home.
A Quick Tip
You don't have to be a resident to take advantage of a town's library. You can check out books and media items with any Connecticut library card (you'll need to get the card from the town in which you live, though). And you can even return the items to any Connecticut library! Some libraries may give priority for program registration to residents, so be sure and check ahead of time.
Don't know where your local library is? Want to check out some other local libraries? Check out the website below to get a list of Connecticut libraries.
Connecticut Public Libraries