5 things your friends might not know you can do with a library card

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell the couple sitting across from you at Ladybird Diner: September is Library Card Sign-up Month! If you're reading this, it's likely you've already got a library card. Good on you. Now spread some library love and encourage everyone around you to get theirs too!

To help you convince your friends, here are 5 things they might not know they can do with a library card:

1. Borrow DVDs, music CDs, video games, and board games
People who don't frequent the library may still be under the impression that it's just a warehouse of books. And who reads books anymore? Wrong and wrong. Movies, TV shows, documentaries, music, video games - we do our best to keep up with the latest in-demand titles. And we just started lending board games! From classics like Monopoly and Sorry! to contemporary favorites like Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity, you can choose from over 60 board games and borrow one for up to two weeks. Perfect for family time or game night with the pals.

2. Download eBooks and audiobooks for free
Have you ever heard the line, "Why go to the library when I can just buy a book on my Kindle?" Well, Jessica, you could save time and money by getting free eBooks from the Library! With a library card, you have access to eBook and audiobook titles through the easy to use Libby app from OverDrive. Browse a plethora of genres and topics, download up to 10 titles at a time, and keep them for 2-3 weeks. Best thing: no late fees! Oh, and there's also the Hoopla app, which has the added bonus of no wait lists for hundreds of thousands of titles.

4. Effortlessly start a book club
What's just as good as reading books? Chatting about them! The library's Book Club in a Bag service can help make starting a book club so easy. What's in the bag? Ten to twelve copies of a book, which takes the hassle out of getting books in the hands of your book clubbers. We have over 200 titles that are perfect for discussion. Leading a club not your jam? The Book Squad also offers several monthly clubs!

3. Get free access to online training
Need to beef up your Microsoft Office skills? Wanting to learn Photoshop? Need to know what the heck Linux is? Learn it all at Lynda.com...need we say it? Free with your library card!

5. Book time in a recording studio
Hey, are you with the band? The Sound + Vision Recording Studio is fully equipped for audio and video production, and with a library card in good standing, your musically inclined friends can book up to two 3-hour sessions a month. Mics, instruments, recording software, and a custom made modular synthesizer all included. For free. Friends not in a band? There are smaller suites that are perfect for starting a podcast, recording oral histories, editing digital photos and videos, and using tools to convert VHS, audio cassettes, and vinyl to digital. 

-William Ottens is the Cataloging and Collection Development Coordinator at Lawrence Public Library.

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