Beyond Books: 3 Reasons to Love Your Library


One of the main goals I have for my children is that they learn to love books. Because of that, the library is totally up my alley. However, in case books are not your jam, I want to let you in on a little, incredibly awesome secret:

The library is not just shelves of books.

And in case you don’t believe me, I’m going to share how our library system goes way beyond books and give you 3 totally awesome reasons why you should love your library.

As a side note, since this is a Richmond-focused blog, these 3 reasons are specific to the Richmond Public Library system. But if you’re reading from a different city or state, I encourage you to check out the libraries closest to you, and see what gems are hidden inside!

Online Materials

The library provides several sources of online materials for free, but I’m just going to tell you about my favorite.

My very favorite—the one I tell everyone about—is hoopla. You can use this service on your computer or as an app on your phone. Through hoopla, you have access to audiobooks, ebooks, movies, and music via either your phone or computer. If you’re familiar with Audible, it’s super similar—only it’s free. Although I love reading a physical book, hoopla is the NUMBER ONE way I read and/or listen to new materials. I tell so many people about it that I secretly feel I should get a commission or something for each new signup I generate. Except it’s free, so…

Anyway, get a library card. Sign up. Start reading, listening, or watching. You’ll love it. No guarantees though, because again… #free.

Classes & Events

Check out Richmond library’s calendar to see the different events and classes being held at your local library. I’ve noticed everything from movie showings (and popcorn) and knitting circles to gardening clubs and writing groups. The event my children and I attend most often is the weekly family storytime. Singing, reading, and craft time? We’re there!

Extra Resources

Did you know about Nature Backpacks? Several of the Richmond libraries have a stash of nature backpacks that are filled with awesome tools to help you and your kids explore outside! You can check these out for 2 weeks and they include: 

  • Free parking/entrance pass to Virginia State Parks
  • Pocket Naturalist guides
  • Magnifying lens
  • Discovery activities and more

Since my family recently moved from North Carolina, this is a resource I’m definitely planning to use as we explore our new state!

I hope I’ve encouraged you to check out your local library and find some treasures that you and your family will enjoy! And if you’re a fan of reading, but can never seem to find the time, here are 9 tips on how to read (when you don’t have time).

Happy reading and learning to you!