Library Hacks

Updated on January 14, 2020
lsmith131 profile image

Lanecia is enjoys inspiring others through self-help articles. She has a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State.

Today's library is the place to go check out tools, utilize information, and transform your physical document into a digital masterpiece.

Over recent years, there has been a major shift in the way libraries provide services, resources, and technology all over the world.

With the accelerating days of digital technology among us, it highly important to engage with the needs of communities and provide an inviting experience for all.

Ever went to the library and wished you had a built-in GPS device to assist you? Well you are not alone.

With a library card at your participating library, you may not know about the many services you have at your disposal.

As a library employee myself, I too get lost sometimes in the vast collections and services of many libraries. But don't let the abundance of information deter you from engaging in all that libraries have to offer.

Here are some ways you can do just that.

Online Collections


You don't have to step out in the middle of December's icy blizzard or July's heat waves. With a registered library card at your local library, you have various online digital media services at your disposal.

Hoopla, a digital library service, provides you with a vast collection of library material. Also available in app form, you can access your material in your car, on a plane, or just about anywhere you find yourself wanting to read a mystery or listen to the latest album.

Overdrive is also available for library users on the go. Also in app form, Overdrive provides digital library material to checkout online. Here you can watch, listen, read, and much more.

Freegal is another useful way to listen to your favorite music artist virtually anywhere. You can also find out when the latest album is coming out or what is popular this season. With one click of the download button on your iPad, smartphone, and etc, you can have instant music for free.

These are only a few of the many services available to assist you in your hunt for online material and entertainment.

This is not to say that you should skip your frequent visits to the library, trust me there is much more to be excited about at the physical location.

These apps are just in case you find yourself in need of entertainment on the go.

Also, make sure to check with your local library to find out if they have any other digital library service apps you can utilize on the go.

New Material


If it's the latest album, DVD, or Blue-ray you are looking for and don't want to shell out extra money or make the permanent commitment? Check out your local library for all of the newest material.

Not available at your local library? No need to worry. Most of the time material not available at the current time may be ordered in advance for you.

To stay up to date on all the latest titles, the new material can also be ordered in advance for you.

Some public ibraries also offer book sales where you can find books of many genres, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, and more. Be sure to ask about upcoming book sales at your library. These sales benefit the community and provide an abundance of services and resources for all to utilize.



Most libraries offer classes and workshops where you can utilize information such as writing tips, resume help, and ways to own a home.

There are thousands of classes you can take, which could be in person or online if you have access to platforms such as:

  • Rosetta Stone is also now available at some libraries for learning a new language. All you need is a library card to get started and you're ready to become a Spanish master!
  • Lynda, is a library learning database, that provides free college-level courses for free, all online. You can master just about anything on your own schedule.
  • Gale is another way to learn online anytime and anyplace. In some subject areas, you can even become certified. With your library card and a few clicks, you can learn a new skill no time.

Don't forget about the free tutoring, learning kits, and educational storytimes for children. Most public libraries provide after-school tutoring for your little one, and some sessions are available at your time convenience. Storytimes are often year-round for babies and toddlers which could foster an appreciation of literacy and social skills. Learning kits may be available for educators and parents who wish to teach children about certain topics using interactive activities.

Did you know you may also have access to hundreds of online databases? This is especially good news for those who have an interest in scholarly information.

Ask your librarian about ways to gain access to these resources and more!


There are public libraries, where you can take a passport photo at a discounted rate. In addition to this, public libraries may also provide other passport services as well.

Be sure to ask about the copying, scanning, and fax services. Oftentimes services may be provided free of charge.

Many libraries also offer free tax information as well as ways to find housing or apply for jobs.

Contact your local library to find out if these services and resources are available.


Want to try out the latest iPad or tablet without the hefty cost? Sometimes, smart devices are available for checkout or for use while in the library.

Also, If you are looking to buy a computer, go to the library and ask about the technology they use.

Libraries must have their computers and other tech machines up to date for users on a daily basis, so quality is a must.

It will give you a good insight on what machines are best to buy for home or office use. Patron computers may also offer the latest software programs you can try out before buying as well.

While embarking on your tech hunt, don't forget to ask about the makerspaces, recording studio, portable Wi-fi devices, and other fascinating tech innovations at your library.

Some libraries even offer virtual reality and photo booths for an even more stimulating experience.

So, stop by get your library card, and embark on a new exciting tech adventure.



Want to play the newest games but don't want to shell out the extra cash? Today most libraries provide games to check out free of charge with your library card.

The varieties are endless, so if you are looking for games for your gaming system, check with your local library to see what's offered.

Gaming turns virtual at some public libraries. Depending on the type of public library, there may also be spaces dedicated to the gaming experience.

Educational games for toddlers and children may also be available for checkout. Most come with complete sets so that you have all you need for an engaging experience.

Empty Space


Want to hold a meeting or event but have nowhere to meet? Meeting rooms are sometimes available free of charge as well.

If you are trying to conduct a class or business meeting check with your closest library to see if they can offer any empty space, you may reserve a room for free!



If you are ever in need of a musical getaway, contact your local library to inquire about the types of entertainment they provide.

If you're a fan of exhibits and wish to see exceptional works of art or informational showcases, libraries create displays featuring wonderful statues and meaningful collections. Some are even interactive, so you can have a more engaging experience.

The library also offers many workshops that are tailored to meet the needs of children and adults of all ages.

Children can learn to make crafts and play with all types of STEM and Makerfaire technology to boost their learning potential.

Adults can learn new skills of all trades and play with super cool gadgets that can also enhance many aspects of life.

It gives everyone something fun to do and makes for a meaningful learning experience.



Become a friend and support your local library to gain additional library opportunities. You'll be invited to many special events and programs where you can meet and interact with other supporters in the community.

You can also apply for "friends of the library" membership such as this one. Keep in mind that there may be a small annual fee which helps to provide you with more awesomeness to enjoy from your library.

Your membership helps with new books, movies, programs and a wide range of useful resources for those of us who love to utilize the magical world of information.

You will also be helping many children have access to valuable material and services to brighten their future.

Also, look forward to discounts on merchandise and/or services from your library's gift shop and any affiliates.


Not only is the library a place for checking out books, it's the ultimate place to learn and grow!

It's also the place of endless possibilities for all.

So take the time out and engage in the services and materials that your library has to offer, or any library for that matter.

I hope these hacks will be helpful to you in your experience of the library.

"Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities."

— R. David Lankes

How Often Do You Visit the Library?

See results

© 2016 Lanecia Smith


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)