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Library Resources to Help You Save Money

Public libraries in southeast Michigan are a great pool of information for the entire family, from kids to teens to parents

Still think of libraries as quaint, quiet book nooks? Think again. Today's public libraries are bustling centers of information, from employment assistance to downloadable e-books. And, with finances tight for many parents, they're also an amazing hub for free services and resources.

One Michigan standout is the Adrian Public Library, located 30 miles southwest of Ann Arbor. Renovated in 2009, this modern downtown spot sports a teen area, small business space and even a café, run by a local small business. It won the Michigan State Librarian’s Excellence Award in 2010.

Here, director Carol Souchock shares some of the ways your hometown public library could save your family some serious cash.

For younger kids

  • The events – oh, the events! Engaging story times are specially tailored for certain age groups and can include crafts, snacks and other surprises. Or stop by for a movie, trivia nights, music, magic and puppet shows, live animal appearances – the list goes on. Browse our MetroParent.com Calendar for library events all over town!
  • Computer fun. Many terminals now offer screen games with a learning twist. At Adrian, for example, two early-literacy stations have 30-plus games in English and Spanish primo for the younger set.
  • Special space. Kid-geared areas for exploration give young students a place to study, read or just hang out.
  • Puzzles and games. Explore board games, build a masterpiece out of LEGOs or a tackle a classic jigsaw. Check with your library to see what sorts of fun is in store.

For tweens and teens

  • Hang out. Dedicated spots where chat and study is welcome? It's a growing trend in libraries like Adrian, which boasts a Teen Zone. Special tween and teen geared events also add social spark.
  • Grab a graphic novel. Novels are hardly the only paperbacks in store. Libraries are stocking these illustrated tales like never before – including many of the latest.
  • Wii gaming events. The popular, get-off-your-butt Nintendo consoles have found their place, too. Check with your library to see what's on-site and/or available to borrow.
  • Free Internet. It's a simple but serious perk. For school studies, research, gaming; you name it, it's there. In growing cases, so is the ability to link in your laptop or iPad with WiFi.
  • Teen Advisory Board. Want to see a new service, program or resource? Join one of these to make your voice heard.

For adults

  • Get cultured. Art exhibitions frequently rotate through library galleries. For a little personal perspective, visit your library to access AncestryLibrary Edition – primo for piecing together family history.
  • Media goods. Check out a new novel as a book, book on CD, Playaway – even downloadable eBook or eAudiobook (check for availability). Magazines are on-hand, too, if you've cut back on home subscriptions.
  • School yourself. Use LearningExpress Library online to improve your math and English skills ¬– or study for the ACT, SAT, GED. Or learn how to speak a new language with a book, CD or DVD.
  • Job prep. Get ready for a job interview. Check out book or DVD and use online databases like Gale's Business and Company Resource Center.
  • Cash considerations. Browse product reviews in Consumer Reports for big purchases. Tighten your budget or save on energy with library resources. Heck – even learn to fix your car using the Chilton Auto Repair database.
  • Movie night. Why spend a dime? Check out the DVD collection available at your library.

Old to new | New to old
Feb 22, 2011 05:25 pm
 Posted by  hopesdaddy

Thank you Metro Parent Magazine, we are thrilled and excited to see your latest on community Libraries. Hope Drogmiller and Hope's Daddy give this four great big super thumbs up! One of our favorite local libraries to visit is the new City of Novi Library located on ten mile road and taft road. Plenty of information here, yes, being a brainiac is a good thing. Its o.k. to learn, we love it! Spend some time with mom and dad and pick out a good book, or even better for us, we are movieheads, go pick out a good movie on dvd. You name it, classic movies, comedy, current action adventure you can find it at most libraries. We travel through many city libraries always looking for the most helpful and friendliest environments for our educational purposes and the two that we find that have everything for us from smileing and happy staff to having every resource material we need would be...Yes,..Novi Library and Walled Lake Library(Bill and Mrs. Williams are great.) I am even currently using the library computer right now in Novi to write this comment. Thank you Novi and Walled lake for your wonderful libraries. Be smart Get out there and read! Learning is fun!

Feb 26, 2011 06:33 pm
 Posted by  Dawn Dwyer

Thanks so much for giving libraries some of the credit they deserve! As a mother of two I am not sure what I would have done without our library system in Livonia over the past 14 years. Whether I needed to research advice, the opportunity to explore books with picky readers, or find valuable programming and free entertainment in the summer, they have always been there. When we were without a computer, we were able to stop in and use the freely available ones for homework assignments and job hunts. And when I just need to escape into a good read for myself, the selection is endless. You are correct when you say that libraries are under fire when budgets get difficult. I am grateful that our city has worked to keep libraries an available and valuable resource for all.

Mar 4, 2011 08:43 am
 Posted by  ron j. stefanski

You gotta love libraries these days. And if you don't then shame on you! Thanks to Sharon MacDonnell and the folks at Metro Parent for shining a bright light on this beleagured community treasure. So many libraries are under threat of funding challenges at a time when they are more important to us than ever.

Looking for a job? Getting your child the extra homework help and assistance they need? Exploring lifelong learning opportunities? It ALL happens in our public libraries.

You wanna save our children. Go out and hug a librarian today!

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