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A Summer Staycation at Your Local Public Library

Guess what I just did? I got a library card! Finally! After being homeless for six months, I moved into my current home almost a year and a half ago and I finally got around to making one of the most important decisions of my summer. The English teacher in me was ashamed that I had not accomplished the task of getting my local library card sooner. I’ve moved around a lot in my adult life and no matter where I’ve lived, the library has always been one of the places I frequent often. I feel at home among all those books. The library is a safe space. Yet, somehow life and all its busyness has kept me away from my dear friend, the library.

Signing up for my library card was quite easy. I just had to show identification with my current address on it and the deed was done. I was allowed to take out five books today, as well as other material, until my card arrives in the mail. I decided to take out some play-away audiobooks to play in my car and while I’m chilling at the beach or pool. Are you familiar with audiobooks? You load them onto portable MP3 players that you can listen to with personal headphones or an auxiliary cord, just like you listen to music on your phone. It’s a fun, easy, and relaxing way to read over the summer no matter where you are. Talk about a staycations in full effect!

As I was walking through the library, I couldn’t  help but remember my first-grade teacher, Ms. O’Brien, telling me how reading books (she taught me how to read) would open up  a whole new world. That imagery has stuck with my my whole life. She was accurate in her summation of books. Reading allows you to explore anywhere from anywhere — even the comfort of your own bed, if you so choose.

I stopped to talk with one of the librarians during my tour of the library and she shared one streaming service and two apps with me that are accessible to members of the community who have a library card for no additional charge that I’d like to share with you. At the very least, you could see if your local library provides these same freebies!

The first one is Kanopy, a new video streaming service that includes more than 30,000 documentaries, feature films, television series, and foreign films! Must Haves for a summer staycation!

Hoopla, according to its website, is a groundbreaking digital media service offered by your local public library that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later. Another Summer Staycation Winner!!

Lastly, OverDrive has thousand of videos, e-books, and audiobooks that can be downloaded straight to your tablet or phone and voila — Summer Staycation is on!!

I realize that these resources are for Long Island residents but have no fear! NYC Public Library has these services and more! According to its portal, your library card is your key to the resources and services of all New York Public Library locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. In addition to borrowing library materials, your card allows you to reserve a computer, download digital media, search hundreds of electronic databases, and more.

Any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge.

There are those three words we just love to hear — free of charge! There’s no reason why this summer, regardless of your financial situation, you can’t have an amazing summer Staycation courtesy of your local public library! Enjoy!

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