I am a self-proclaimed library nerd. I have my library card number memorized, I visit my library’s website and app at least once a week, and my queue of reserved books usually has at least 10 books on it.
As a mom, I’m intimately familiar with the invaluable resources the library offers. Story times, DVDs, play areas and organized events have all saved the day many times for my family. But did you know that the library offers a number of extraordinary resources that can make YOUR day?
That’s right, mom, the library is your oasis for learning, exploration and even fun. Grab your library card, some coffee or tea (readily available at many local libraries) and let’s start exploring!
7 Gems Offered by Twin Cities Libraries
If your experience with the library has primarily been around books, then you’re in store for a treat. Today’s modern libraries offer many hidden gems that give you FREE access to incredibly useful (and sometimes expensive) online programs and services.
Let me introduce you to my favorites, along with a few that I’m excited to try.
- Access Lynda.com
It’s time to start learning, Momma! Lynda.com offers 3,600 courses on topics ranging from time management to computer programming to iPhone photography. By accessing Lynda.com through the library, you can bypass the service’s $20/month subscription fee! I’ve used Lynda.com to help me hone my Photoshop skills and learn how to play piano. I can’t wait to explore their other courses.
- See the arts with smART pass
SmART pass allows you to explore art in the Twin Cities with free or discounted passes to museums, nature sites, and theaters. I’ve scored free tickets to the Stages Theater Company through smART pass. I’m excited by the possibility of using passes for the American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis Institute of Art or the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Repair an item at a Fix-It Clinic
I was devastated when my beloved panini maker broke. Thanks to a handy volunteer at my library’s Fix-It Clinic, panini Saturdays have returned in my house! Fix-It Clinics are regularly held in Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties. My next Fix-It Clinic adventure will be to have my pants hemmed.
- Have a girls night…at the library
Did you know that the library offers meditation, painting classes, knitting clubs and water color painting? Neither did I before I started perusing dateBook – a repository of events at Twin Cities libraries. It’s time to get the girls together for a fun (and free!) moms’ night out at the library!
- Benefit from career advice
Landing a new job opportunity is hard. JobNow provides career coaches who will review your resume, conduct mock interviews and help guide your search. This is definitely a free job service I’ll keep in mind the next time I want to make a career move.
- Relax with an eMagazine
I love to read magazines, but I cancelled all of my subscriptions. I just can’t keep up! With the library’s eMagazines, I can peruse online magazines at my leisure without feeling guilty about keeping up. So Moms, let’s make time to indulge in some light reading with Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, US Weekly and even Cosmopolitan if you’re feeling a bit saucy.
- Expand your horizons
The library is equipped to help you step outside your “mom world.” Fulfill your dream of learning another language with Transparent Language Online, which offers lessons in over 74 languages. Or dig into your family’s genealogy with the free Ancestry. Invest in yourself and your passions with these and other e-resources.
What did I miss? What are your favorite hidden gems of the library? The library is a mecca for any mom looking to take some time for herself. So dust off your library card, jump over to your library’s website and start exploring. You can even don a pair of librarian glasses if that’s your thing…