We’ve been using the library since the first kiddo was born. Young kids love to read new books, and to have new books read to them. It just doesn’t make sense to drop $10 on a new board book, first reader children’s book, or other books every single time you finish reading a book. Even third and fourth grade books seems to come and go quickly.
While owning books is great (and I highly recommend buying their favorites so they can have their own library at home), the quick loan from the library offers plenty of new books.
Reading new books to your child also helps with brain development, and studies have shown that children who are read to during their early years development better vocabularies, writing abilities, and even intelligence. Some studies show that the number of different words spoken to a child during their developmental years can predict future intelligence.
But, there many more free perks from the library than you ever imagined.
Free Library Perks
Every library system is different, so check your local library website for the free perks your own library offers.
We have the good fortune of living near a county line in suburban Denver. That means, we can realistically access three different library systems, the Douglas County Libraries, the Arapahoe County Libraries, and the Denver Public Libraries.
Each has their own list of amazing free services and library benefits.
Free Douglas County Library Card Perks
Like hiking? The Douglas County Library offers backpacks that you can check out. The backpack comes with a parks pass good for any of the Colorado State Parks. Before you use your free parks pass, use the free pro upgrade to AllTrails Pro so that you can plan your hike with all of the cool AllTrails Pro map perks. (Be sure to enter the coupon code when you upgrade, but no billing information. That gives you a free 12 month membership. Otherwise, it might renew at $29.99 the following year.)
You can also borrow things like an Oculus Go headset, a Cricut Joy machine, cameras, telescopes, microscopes, and tons of other things. Most things have hefty wait lists, though, so take this as an opportunity to try some fun things out, not a way to get equipment when you need it.
Show your library card at certain businesses for discounts as well.
The best perk for us is the free passes to local attractions that we don’t already have memberships to like the Butterfly Pavilion and the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. You can reserve the passes up to 14 days in advance, so it helps to plan ahead.
Other huge library perks are free access to Lynda.com, which offers tons of software trainings, as well as business training and other how-tos. While I’ve never used Creativebug, it looks like it has tons of DIY classes.
My latest pleasure is Mango Languages. It lets you learn languages, and your library card gives you free access to brush up on your German, or Spanish, or to learn French.
If you’re doing research, most libraries offer free access to numerous online research databases with your library card number and password.
Multiple Libraries Perks
There are likely plenty of great free library perks at your local library, but if you can easily access more libraries, they often do not require you to live there to get a library card.
So ask! You could get even more free library perks.
Here in the Denver area, the Denver Public Library system dropped Lynda.com over privacy issues, but I still get free access from the Douglas County Library system, although it is now called LinkedIn Learning after Linked in bought Lynda.
Denver Libraries replaced Lynda with Udemy Learning, so I can get free online training from two premier technology training companies. And the Denver technology labs will 3D print items that you send to them for free.