Libraries have long been known as a place to check out a book, do your homework, and gather for community events. But they’ve also got some great resources of which you may not be aware. Here are six of our favorites:
Online programs like “Job Now” and in-house career centers (there are 6 in the Ramapo-Catskill System) are for resume building, interview skills, and any other job help patrons might need to score employment.
Freegal has 13 million songs available for streaming with just your library card number and PIN! The Poughkeepsie and Beacon libraries even have personalized playlists like Pumpkin Spice Season and The Writing Room. The Westchester Library System uses Freegal for its Music and Memory program for Alzheimer’s patients — highlighting the importance of incorporating music into their everyday care.
Kanopy has over 26,000 feature films and documentaries that are downloadable monthly, five at a time. Or you can check out Hoopla: its movies, music, e-books and comics are available for streaming and downloading. Looking for a free read, but you’re miles away from your local library? Get the Libby app on any device to download thousands of e-books and audiobooks with just a swipe. It’s one of the Mid-Hudson executive director’s favorite features, and available for the Ramapo Catskill system, as well.
You can check out passes offering free or reduced admission to museums, historic sites, zoos and more! All you need is your library card. But just a heads-up, they’re usually on a first-come basis, so book in advance, if you can.
Rosetta Stone and Mango Languages
Looking to improve your language skills with just one click? Online language learning systems are the new wave, and some libraries even offer classes weekly, such as English as a New Language classes. The Cornwall Public Library even has a bilingual story time, “Cuentos,” monthly.
Ancestry.com has a special “library edition” for free. With a username and password provided by your library, you can access information pertaining to your personal history, including birth, marriage, death records and more.
It is the year 2020, after all. There are several in the Hudson Valley offering 3D printers at their facilities, including: Croton-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie (Boardman Road Branch), White Plains, and Yonkers. Fees range from free to 15 cents.
Check your library’s website to see what programs it offers. “Each of the libraries are autonomous and conduct their own market research to tailor their programs to fit the community’s needs,” says Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, executive director of the Mid-Hudson Library System. “People are short on time and looking for opportunities to spend time with their families. Anyone will find something they can enjoy.”