Celebrating National Library Week

If you were one of those kids who went to the library a lot growing up, I bet you can close your eyes and imagine the smell of the books. Anytime I think about the library, I catch a whiff of that infamous scent. However, it’s so much more than just a place for checking out copies of your favorite book. Next week is National Library Week, and we’re celebrating by sharing all of the awesome resources available at our local libraries.

family at the library

Do you know what you can do with a library card? Most libraries hold book discussion groups and summer reading clubs. They also offer local history and genealogy services. Growing up, I often went to my local library to do research for school papers and projects.

At their locations, you can also access online databases for educational resources such as tutors, language skills, and websites for young children.

Fun For All Ages During National Library Week

Speaking of young children, the library is actually a great place for little ones. My family takes advantage of their free weekly story time sessions. These sessions run in 5-week increments. At each session, a wonderful librarian reads two different books, does songs and dances with the kids (and sometimes the adults), and then walks the kids through a book-related craft.

My kids absolutely adore going. Every time a session ends they ask me to sign them up for another one—and I’m happy to oblige! If you can’t make their specific story times, they also have a monthly grab-and-go craft.

Do you have older kids at home? The library also offers volunteer sessions if they need any community service hours. My local library recently did a nerf battle for older kids. I didn’t attend, but the community came all out and thought it was an absolute blast. Be sure to check out what events and programs your nearest branch has to offer.

Exploring Michigan

Not all library events take place at the actual library. A couple years ago, my library sold tickets to attend a tour by bus to The Zekelman Holocaust Center. Most libraries have cultural committees that sponsor and plan events just like this. They have historical commissions and local history centers that can help give you details about world events and events close to your own home.

If you like to explore Michigan’s natural attractions, you have to check out the Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) program. Discover all the great things Michigan has to offer all by simply using your library card! Through my local library, I can search attractions within a certain amount of miles from my home. The pass allows you to make reservations at participating locations statewide. MAP is a statewide collaborative effort between Michigan’s public libraries and participating partners, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, MetroParks, MI Big Green Gym, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

What Can Your Library Do For You?

All of this above is just the tip of the iceberg for what libraries have to offer families. You’ll also find:

  • Access to research information
  • Book, music, and movie rentals
  • Family events
  • Genealogy help
  • Historical trips
  • Story time
  • Toddler crafts
  • Volunteer opportunities

Don’t just take my word for it! Visit your library or check out their website to see what events they have coming up. You never know. It might just become your new favorite place.

While you’re there, be sure to look for books written by these local Michigan authors!


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