Libraries are a huge asset to their communities. They provide internet for those without internet access, photocopying and printing services and mountains of movies and books on all kinds of topics for all ages to enjoy — plus, it’s one of the only places you can go these days without having to spend a single penny.
But as times have changed, so has your local library. Internet and books are still the reigning king as far as library services go, but libraries these days offer so much more.
From hobby equipment to wireless hotspots, here are nine cool and unique things that modern libraries offer and some local libraries that offer these options in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. All you need is a library card!
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some library offerings may be suspended and some libraries may enforce safety protocols. Other libraries than the ones listed may also offer these options. Check with your local library before heading out. Nominal fees may apply for some items on this list.
Whether you’re staging your house or having your boss over for dinner, local libraries can help you decorate to impress with art prints that you can borrow for a set amount of time.
Offered at: Ann Arbor District Library and Grosse Point Public Library
Kids’ interests can change quite frequently and buying things for every new hobby they want to try can add up. Instead, let them explore what they want via hobby kits at your local library. Look for metal detecting and exercise equipment, telescopes, sporting goods, art supplies and much more.
Offered at: Ann Arbor District Library, Madison Heights Public Library, Rochester Hills Public Library and West Bloomfield Township Public Library
Desktop computers are available for use at most libraries but some also offer the chance to take home a laptop for a period of time. Check with the library near you for details.
Offered at: Detroit Public Library, Madison Heights Public Library and Romulus Public Library
Michigan Activity Pass
Looking for something fun to do with your kids? Score a discount on a Michigan Activity Pass from your local library. It’ll get you into more than 400 local parks, cultural attractions and more in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.
Offered at: Ann Arbor District Library, Auburn Hills Public Library, Belleville Area District Library, Chelsea District Library, Flat Rock Public Library, Fraser Public Library, Lois Wagner Memorial Library, Madison Heights Public Library, Northville District Library, Oak Park Library, Roseville Public Library, Southfield Public Library, Troy Public Library and Warren Public Library
Music can be a great activity for kids and adults to try but it can take time finding the right instrument for you. Try a variety of instruments and find the ones you love the most, courtesy of your local library.
Offered at: Rochester Hills Public Library
Throwing a birthday party? Kick it up a notch with a bubble machine, karaoke machine and other fun options.
Offered at: Rochester Hills Public Library
Puzzles and Games
Game nights are a great way to enjoy quality time with your loved ones, but buying a new game every time you have one can get expensive. Instead, why not try before you buy by checking one out.
Offered at: Ferndale Public Library, Livonia Civic Center Library, Troy Public Library and Ypsilanti District Library
It’s always a good idea to have some tools on hand at home but there’s no use dropping hundreds of dollars on a tool you’re going to use once or twice. Instead, check with your local library to see if you can borrow the tool that you need.
Offered at: Ann Arbor District Library, Clinton Macomb Public Library and Rochester Hills Public Library
Internet is expensive, and while you can use the internet for free at most libraries, sometimes you need to take it home, too. Enter, wireless hotspots available for checkout. Ask about Wi-Fi routers and mobile hotspots at select locations, too.
Offered at: Chelsea District Library, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, Farmington Community Library, Madison Heights Public Library, Milan Public Library, Romulus Public Library, Sterling Heights Public Library, Troy Public Library and Ypsilanti District Library
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