Libraries are using technology to enrich our lives in surprising ways.
While on vacation, I spoke to Sanibel Island Public Library Director Margaret Mohundro who graciously offered ideas on ways to save money at the library.
Each library has unique offerings so she recommended consulting your local library to see what is available.
Convenience has increased as well. Many services can be accessed right from your home with an Internet connection and a library card number.
Here are just a few of Ms. Mohundro’s suggestions:
• Museum Passes. Most libraries have passes to local museums, which you can check out for free. You can even do this when you travel. You usually can get a visitor library card for about ten dollars—“It’s a steal!” Some museums will offer passes to the whole family.
• Learn a language for free with Mango. You can learn about forty languages at the library or online at home.
• Research using online subscription services. The Sanibel Public Library offers subscriptions to Morningstar Investment Research Center, Weiss Financial Ratings Series as well as many others. The Florida Electronic Library provides free magazine articles. This information is from trusted and vetted sources.
• Check out free audio and eBooks. You can check out books for your electronic devices such as iPhones, e-readers, and MP3 players. Not all publishers sell electronic books to libraries but many good titles are available.
• Author lectures and book discussion groups are a good way to stay informed.
• Take out puzzles or Scrabble.
• You can use the Wi-Fi and computers. And libraries are always a nice place to relax and read a book or magazine.
• Resources are available for all age groups. Ms. Mohundro told me about R.E.A.D. which stands for Reading Education Assistance Dogs. Children sit with therapy dogs and read aloud to them as they work on improving their reading skills.
Check out other libraries in your regional system to see if they have different museum passes, events, and services. For example, my local library in Rhode Island offers Universal Class, which offers over 500 online non-credit Continuing Education courses.
Sanibel Island is well-known for its shells. The library has a beautiful collection of shells from around the world.