For many of us, getting away this summer might mean trips to the lake or pool or camping in the great outdoors.  But if you’re looking to escape without leaving town, look no further than a trip to your local library! In this blog, we’ll cover why you should get a library card and how you can use it to enrich your life.  

Benefits of the Public Library

There are many benefits to reading – reducing stress and anxiety and better sleep to just name a few. If you’re already an avid reader, or just starting to get more into it, a public library is an affordable way to discover and immerse yourself in books of all kinds. Many public libraries across Canada offer low cost or free memberships, which usually include free programming and events in addition to book borrowing.

Reasons to Get a Library Card

A library offers a lot more than just books! Here’s a list of what an average library in Canada offers, if you still need some convincing:

  • Physical and digital catalogues of books, magazines, audiobooks, e-books, movies, and music. Borrow these to take home, renew if you need to, or borrow a digital copy for your eReader or device. Many libraries even offer video games for borrowing!
  • Free services such as internet access, meeting room bookings, printing access and computer access. These are useful services for library users to take advantage of, especially if they don’t have these resources at home.
  • Support for newcomers to Canada like career development resources. These services for newcomers can help them integrate into their community and meet new people.
  • Programming for babies, toddlers, kids, teens, adults, newcomers to Canada and English-language-learned programs. These programs range in topics, from arts & music, indigenous topics, LGBTQ+ and school support. Programming is intended to cover a broad range of topics to be reflective of the communities the library represents: diverse groups of people with unique backgrounds, ages, identities and orientations.
  • Events - many libraries across the country extend their presence beyond the walls of the library and into their communities. These events can be partnerships with other local arts organizations (like the Calgary Public Library’s partnership with the Calgary Opera to bring the opera to a broad range of Calgarians) or community events and story times to bring the library to the people!
  • Volunteer opportunities - being a library card holder also opens the door to volunteer opportunities and ways to give back. These opportunities are great for younger adults looking to gain volunteer experience and build their resumes or older adults who want to invest their time in their community.
  • Find an escape - libraries are meant to be a lot of things to a lot of different people, and one of these is a calm escape for reading and relaxing. Your local library probably has many spots to sit down and read, so you can find your nook and settle in with your latest book and read away.

How to Get a Library Card

It’s easier than you think. Here’s what you need to get a library card:

  1. Proof of photo identification like a driver’s license, passport or health card
  2. Proof of address

If you have kids, they can get their own card too! They may have lower borrowing limits than an adult card, but having their own card will allow you to sign them up for their own events, programs, and of course allow them to borrow their own materials.

Discover Your Local Library

Whether you’re a newcomer to Canada, a young person looking to expand their horizons or a keen crafter searching for the latest DIY project, the library likely has something to offer you. Learn a new language, discover a new favourite author, volunteer your time, or attend a library event - you won’t regret it!