Libraries Offer More Than Books

Reading is one of those hobbies that is very hit or miss for people. It’s likely that either you can’t name the last book you read for fun or your to-be-read list is longer than you’ll possibly have time to complete. But the other interesting thing about reading is that it does seem that every person did, at one point in time, have a love for it.

I mean think about, the thrill of a child walking into a library, endless stories surrounding them from which to choose. And the room typically filled with colors and decorated to inspire imagination and creativity. It’s a memory familiar to many of us. Well, what if I told you that you could rekindle that same feeling all these years later?

If you’re a big reader I probably don’t need to say much to convince you to go utilize all that the public library system here in Suffolk County has to offer. But, if you’re not a reader you may be thinking that such excitement about a library is simply unrealistic.

Just like everything else in this world of ours, libraries are constantly evolving. All you need is a library card, and you have access to a whole new world of fun. There are of course endless books and movies to check out—and the Libby app now allows you to check out eBooks and audio books right from your smartphone.

BUT there is so much more in Library Land than books. There are programs like movie nights, concert series, lectures, exercise classes and field trips throughout the whole year. Most libraries have a newer department where you can create almost anything you set your mind on—crafting has moved to a new level with no maximum age. There are cricut machines, 3D-printers and sewing machines. Most libraries in the county also offer discounted tickets to local attractions like Splish Splash, the Bronx Zoo, the Long Island Aquarium and even Watch Hill on Fire Island.

So, if life is a bit crazy for you right now, I would suggest a trip to your local library. I encourage you to let yourself get lost in the bookshelves, in all the stories that can serve as a mini escape into a new world or a different life. If you go in with an open mind, you never know what amazing adventure you’ll find in the pages.

And again, avid reader or not, head over to your local library and look around. Pick up the newsletter to see which upcoming programs you want to add to your calendar. For me it’s a “Mamma Mia” Movie Night, ukulele class and writer’s workshop, all this month!

When you walk through the library doors, a world of possibilities is open to you and your imagination. And if you don’t have a card yet or it’s old, don’t worry. The process to get a library card is very simple, all you need is your I.D. and proof of address.

Every district along the south shore (and all of NY) has a public library. So go discover yours this summer!

Oh, and one more cool thing. Library card holders from any Suffolk County public library can go to other districts to check out books, use the space and attend programs (just note that some restrictions may apply when not at your home library).

I would recommend the Bayport-Blue Point Library for any south shore book lovers. It’s only a few months old and it’s a gorgeous building (it’s a converted convent). The library has a huge property with a nature preserve/walk out back. Grab a drink and snack from the library café and wander amongst the books and flowers and I’m sure your appreciation for libraries will be restored!

Happy reading (or crafting, exercising, learning… just have fun)!