The Library: More than Just Books!

The Library

I’ve had a love affair with the library for as long as I can remember.  I’ve always been a bookworm, but I also love borrowing music and movies, learning something new, or just using the space as a quiet place to catch up on celebrity gossip magazines.  My friends, I want you to fall in love, too. The library is so much more than just books.  Here’s a list of some of the things the Jefferson County Public Library system has to offer that your local library is likely to have as well!

Books/Magazines/Music/Movies/Newspapers

This is a no-brainer, right?  You have access to pretty much any type of media you could ever want.  And if you don’t get a chance to read/watch/listen, no problem!  It doesn’t cost you a dime (unless you’re late), and you can just rent it again any time!  Also, be sure to take advantage of online reservations, where you can reserve as many items as you want and the library sets them aside for you and alerts you when it’s ready.  The library is a great place to try something new, too – the staff is always so knowledgeable and eager to assist.

Book Groups

There are book groups for young readers (8+) and adults.  The books are selected six months out and cover a variety of interests.  Kids can also participate in crafts and games.

For Kids

  • Story Times –  variety of story times for all age groups (babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, families).  Sing, dance, read, play, create, and meet new friends!  We go at least once a week.  I give a lot of credit to these programs to how verbal and communicative my kiddo is – he’s learned so much from the repetition and songs.  Plus, he’s already a book lover, too!
  • Family Fun Night – suitable for all ages.  Once a month the library invites the whole family for an awesome theme night.  Crafts, songs, and stories get everyone involved.
  • LEGO Play & Build – build your own creation or stick to a theme – the library provides the LEGOS!  Suitable for all ages.
  • S.T.E.A.M. Power – for ages 7 and up.  Those with interests in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics can come to learn and explore.  Each month is based on one aspect of STEAM and kids get to build things like mini catapults or balloon powered hovercrafts!  SO COOL!
  • Wee Bee Jammin’ – for 3-5 year olds.  Music, movement, and lots of fun!
  • PAWS for Reading – independent readers bring a favorite book and spend a 15-minute session reading with adorable dogs from the Animals4Therapy program.  A relaxing, comfortable reading session for kids and pups alike.
  • Movies – a variety of films throughout the year.
  • Summer Reading Club – each year the library launches the summer reading program from infants (yes, I said infants) to adults!  Pre-readers can participate by completing pre-reading activities and everyone receives awesome sign-up prizes and a free book upon completion.  There are also some great midway prizes, and the kick-off to the program has great activities for the kids to enjoy.
  • Reading Buddies – kiddos in grades K-3 are paired with teen volunteers to discover a love of reading and make friends!
  • Homework Help – free tutoring and help?  Yes, please!

For Adults

  • Movie Time – from classics to modern movies, there are special showings throughout the year.  Stay afterwards for discussion!
  • Make Something (Crafting) – DIY-ers rejoice in learning how to make and take home something unique!  The library provides the materials, too!
  • Computer Classes – everything you need/want to know about computers: Excel, Word, basics, eBooks, job hunting, etc.  And it’s all free!  You can also take free online courses with your library card through Lynda.com.
  • Legal Self-Help Clinic – The Belmar library offers a free clinic once a month that hooks you up to volunteer lawyers via video link to answer all of your questions on civil litigation.
  • Tax Help – a great help to many during this super fun time of year!
  • Business Help – drop-in times for help with business plans, market research, stocks, funds, etc.
  • Discussions/Panels/Public Meetings – in-depth conversations on a variety of hot-button issues and current world subjects.  A great place to share and listen.  There are also great meetings on topics such as estate planning, writing for publishing, home buying, and many others.
  • Home Services Delivery – if you are unable to come to the library due to a medical condition lasting longer than three months, the library will deliver all of your books, movies, music, etc. free of charge.
  • Assistive Services – for any and all programs (children’s programs, too!), the library will provide an ASL interpreter (request a week in advance).  Assistive technology and staff is also available for those who are hard of hearing or visually impaired.

Meeting Rooms/Study Rooms

Reserve them or use them on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Our MOMS Club uses this resource for our monthly meetings.

Culture Pass

Ok, I’m passing along my not-so-secret new favorite library resource…  The library purchases memberships to several metro-area cultural institutions, and you can reserve tickets – free of charge – with your library card!  Institutions include: Colorado State Parks, Butterfly Pavilion, Denver Firefighters Museum, Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Dinosaur Ridge, Golden History Museums, History Colorado Center, MCA Denver, Molly Brown House, Platte Valley Trolley, and Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.  Yes, you read this correctly, it’s all for free.  Let your adventuring begin!

This is honestly just the tip of the iceberg and each branch has their own unique programs and special events.  While this list is all about Jeffco libraries, check out your local library to learn more about what they have to offer.

It’s time to start your own love affair with your local library! What are your favorite local library resources?

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