Fun Services and Innovations at Our Local Libraries

Mommy Vegas Idea #8

Your Library Card, not just for books anymore!

We have always been big library fans, but having lived in Henderson for quite some time we tended to frequent the Henderson Libraries, which are fabulous by the way. Our favorite is Paseo Verde, it feels a little like the big fancy book store chains, complete with coffee shop and comfy seating, but a lot more intimate.

We decided to mix things up a bit this week and try a different library, so I hopped on the Clark County Library website to explore some of our Las Vegas options (for those who aren’t privy, Henderson Libraries are actually distinct from the Clark County Library District).  After looking through the extensive calendar of events for the many valley locations, we settled on “Gotta Move Monday,” an interactive storytime format for 0-5 year-olds, that includes singing, dancing, and general silliness, in addition to the regular reading and library fun.

We had a great time at Gotta Move (even have a blog post all cued up to be posted just prior to the next one, in October), and though we were pressed for time to get Little Bear back home to prep for afternoon preschool, we had fun exploring some of the attributes of the Enterprise Library, namely the features of the Children’s Section.

It occurred to me that libraries have become far more than a collection of free reading material. So in the spirit of “Library Card Sign-up Month,” seriously, September apparently has a special designation as such, I thought we’d share some of the exciting services and activities available at our local libraries. Many of the following are available at both Las Vegas and Henderson Libraries, for more information on the details visit their websites (if you don’t happen to live in Southern Nevada, I strongly encourage you to check our what your local library has to offer)!

IN A NUT SHELL


STORYTIMES
There is a wide variety of storytimes at all the libraries, I love how they have some available for different age groups, as well as a catchall for those of us with kiddos in more than one age range. Many of the locations also feature weekend storytimes great for working parents, and for the stay at home parents that just need a break, these make great “Mommy/Daddy and Me” activities, to give you some alone time on the weekend!

Example of Weekly Storytime Schedule, Enterprise Library
Many of the locations have a check-in or ticket system (don’t worry, it’s still free!) to help them regulate the number of guests and keep track of attendance. Be sure to check in with the Circulation Desk or Children’s Services Desk prior to starting time just in case!
CLUBS AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
Be sure to check into special interest groups too!  Book clubs are prevalent, obviously, but there are also “Reading with Rover”-type programs, early literacy programs, English as a second language as well as other enriching activity based groups, for example, multiple locations have Lego or Duplo Clubs. They often meet once a month to explore themed activities.
Both library systems feature pro-literacy programs. The Las Vegas branches participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. My Little Bear was SO tickled with this wall, he has decided that his name belonged there as well. So guess what we’ll be working on! He doesn’t realize he’s already well surpassed this number… but I’m not telling him that!

EVENTS/PROGRAMS/PRIVATE EVENT SPACE
Many of the libraries have multipurpose rooms or auditoriums. The (main) County Library on Flamingo near UNLV actually has a full theater. It’s truly spectacular, as is the entire library.

They regularly feature author tours and book signings, motivational talks and fun kid’s programs and performances.  They also rent many of these spaces to the public at below industry standard rates!  So while you may not be leaping to have a wedding reception at the local library, you may consider these spaces for future meetings, club gatherings or special event.


TECH SERVICES
For years anyone with a library card could enter a library, just about anywhere, and use a computer. Even our tiny community library where I grew up (actually doubled as the school library!) had computers available for patron use, even in the late 80’s/early 90’s I remember being enamored with the idea of “free internet!” Technology has come a long way, and our libraries haven’t been left behind.

In addition to computer labs and public use computers, the libraries also feature wi-fi and mobile printing stations. Oh, and don’t forget you can access your library from anywhere, and not just to reserve or find a book, you can have that book, magazine or song in your possession digitally in moments! Thank you Al Gore!

FREE eMEDIA
There are also all sorts of eMedia freebies available through both library systems, including free eBooks through various providers and music downloads with “freegal.” This awesome program is definitely worth checking out! You just sign in with your library card (from your comfy little seat… seriously, you could go do it right now, provided you have an active library card!), find the songs you like, and download up to five a week! That’s right, you can download up to five songs a week for freeOh, and you get to KEEP them, no due date – no late fees! There is even a wish list so you can keep track of what you will garner next! If the AWESOME hasn’t hit you yet, that could be over $200 in free music a year if you play it up right!

AND THE LIST OF COOL OFFERINGS GOES ON AND ON…
Speaking of awesome, if you find yourself in a rush, after storytime or on your way home from work one day and want to bring home a little surprise, you can pick up one of these handy book bundles.   These hand selected bundles take the guesswork and time investment out of bringing home a bag full of books!  Check this station out next time you stop by, you may find the perfect bundle has already been created for you!

 OH MY GOODNESS, THIS IS GENIUS!!! Yes, I’m totally text yelling.

Now, to top it all off, in honor of Library Card Sign-up Month, the Clark County Library District has put together a drawing to help drive library love and use. The program includes an opportunity to win a family four-pack of tickets to Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, and a huge discount on tickets for those who do not find themselves lucky winners! All you have to do is either sign up for a library card, if you do not already have one, or show your love on Facebook to be entered in the drawing. Want to collect on that nearly 60% ticket discount? You don’t even have to have a Facebook account, just flash your Clark County Library Card at the Box Office through September 30th! Click here for more details!

Would you like to be the proud owner of one of these magical cards? Click here to fill out the application online!

Happy reading,

Candice

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