What Your Library Wishes You Knew During National Library Week

National Library Week is April 7-13, so we asked some library staffers what they would like moms to know about public libraries. Here’s what your library wishes you knew as we celebrate National Library Week!

Mother and toddler daughter play in brightly colored early literacy area at public libraryYour local library is special.

Whether you’re at the largest multi-branch system or a small rural library, every book, program, activity, and service is specially curated by librarians and staff just for your community. You won’t find the exact same set of materials or programs or services duplicated at any other library. Everything in your library is uniquely designed for your community’s unique demographics, interests, and needs. 

Libraries can save you a ton of dough.

Your tax dollars fund your library but it can more than pay off when you borrow items or attend programs. Use this calculator to see how much money your family saves using the library!

  • Attend storytimes, use NHS tutors, or get the resources to write an A+ paper.
  • Check out activity or sensory kits, puppets, or storytime materials for at-home fun.
  • Get free or reduced admission to hundreds of museums and activities across the state, like discounts on Detroit Zoo tickets or 313 Presents shows. 
  • Instead of buying hard covers or expensive e-books, borrow instead.
  • Make use of online tutoring, take practice ACT, SAT, and AP tests, community college-level classes, or learn a language.

Libraries are a great parenting resource.

Another thing you should know: if you want to meet up or make new mom friends without the obligation of buying something, head to the library. It’s a great place to hang out and reduce the isolation that parents can feel. Sign up for storytimes, drop in for play times in early learning centers, and check out parenting books.

Some libraries, like Grosse Pointe Public Libraries, have outreach services to new parents that include book delivery and local parenting resources. Looking for something to keep the kids busy over the summer? Sign up for free programming and activities.

Libraries are all about sharing.

We’re libraries, of course we share resources with the community and with each other. Take advantage of interlibrary loan (ILL) through the Michigan eLibrary (MeL) to borrow materials from a library across the state and have it delivered to your home library. You can also use your library card and visit reciprocating libraries throughout the metro area. Every library is different and worth exploring!

No one knows your community better than your library.

Libraries are a community connection point and gathering spot for everyone. Because they have that specific knowledge of what the community needs, you’ll see unique and interesting collections from a bakeware collection at Royal Oak Public Library, to a seed library at Birmingham’s Baldwin Public Library, to snowshoes from the Clinton-Macomb Library. What does your local library offer?

Libraries are for everyone.

Parents, kids, remote workers, students, seniors—people from all walks of life—are welcome at the library. Library staff won’t judge you on the type of materials you check out or what your needs are. Many libraries offer assistive devices, programs, and services, like this wide-ranging list from Bloomfield Township Public Library, or English Language Learner programs at the Canton Public Library. 

Make a Librarian’s Day

Of all the resources available at the library, the most valuable one is the staff. Library staff are experts in helping you find the perfect book for a reluctant reader, putting you in touch with a social service, or helping you learn new skills for a better job. They take their love for their community seriously and are ready for any situation—many are CPR, first aid, and NarCan trained.

Librarians can also help you spot scams and disinformation and send you to a verified resource. They are happy to share tips and tricks about requesting the latest best seller or setting up an account to stream online media. Ask a librarian for a reading suggestion and you’ll make their day!

And Lastly: Love Your Library Staff

Libraries are facing more challenges than ever—from budget issues to book censorship to demanding patrons—so show them some love. National Library Workers Day is April 9. Baked goods are especially appreciated! 🧁

Looking for more ways to celebrate libraries and reading? Check out Jessica’s 7 Ways to Celebrate Family Literacy Month post.


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