CLEVELAND – When most people hear the term library, they think of a lot of books, CDs and movies on shelves that you can take home and bring back. In today’s libraries, you can still do that, but they’re offering so much more.
Donna Kelly Sprinkle, with the Lorain Public Library System, says, “People would be very, very surprised of some of the interesting and useful things that you can experience at your library.”
At the Lorain Public Library, they offer passport services and classes for 3-D design, computer programing and robotics. They also have tablets and backpacks filled with toys that you can you check out, as well as blood pressure kits.
“They come with everything that you need, including a power cable and instructions,” says Sprinkle.
Just up the road in Avon Lake, they’re busy fine tuning their music program which was launched in May. They allow folks to check out musical instruments, as well as provide guitar lessons. Dan Cotton, who works for the Avon Lake Library, says, “We have 4 acoustic guitars, 3 electric guitars, 2 bass guitars and then we have 6 ukuleles. The guitars and ukuleles go out for 3 weeks at a time.”
You can also check out bicycles, WIFI hot spots, an overhead projector and projector screen, photo scanner, Roku, blue tooth speaker, radon detector, Go Pros and much more. For the gamers, they have Wiis, a PS3, Xbox 360 and a Chromebook. Who knew?
“We’re always looking to do other things, let us know what you’re thinking,” says Cotton.
In the Cuyahoga County Public Library System, 3 branches have innovation centers where someone can come in and use equipment and design software. They have everything from 3D printing and embroidery machines to laser engravers, a t-shirt press, sewing machine and CNC router.
“The list goes on and on of things that are unexpected that we do here at the library,” says Robert Rua with Cuyahoga County Public Library.
Some of their branches even have audio recording studios and green screen studios so people can lay down their next track or even shoot a commercial. The bottom line is libraries are doing so much more than you’d expect. For a complete list of what your local library offers, I’d suggest you stop in or visit them online.