Lifestyle: Rediscovering the public library during this recession
One of the things I have rediscovered over the past year is the value of the public library. I always loved the library when I was young, but I never thought about frequenting it as an adult. This past summer, I had to meet my daughter's tutor there for one hour sessions, twice a week. While she worked with my daughter, I had an hour to myself to meander around and explore what my tax dollars in the big city pays for, and you know what? It's a lot! Think what you will about taxes-they do pay for a lot of free civic and public activities for the commons that everyone should take advantage of. When you look at it, you can save a ton of money in this recession by utilizing the library for all it has to offer. I know I am in a big city, so what our libraries offer may be different/more than yours-but take a look and have the librarian give you a tour of your own. You might be pleasantly surprised what your tax dollars are paying for that you can really use!
Totally New Downloadable Media!
Using your library card online, the Chicago library has a new Digital Media section that allows you to download MP3s, eBooks, Audiobooks & DVDs straight to you computer at any time. Your selections will load to your computer instantly. When your loan period is up, the files expire, and your done! You can renew them online, just like the actual books, so you won't get late fees.
You can pick up free lawn passes to certain concerts during the Ravinia Festival’s summer concert season. Anyone 18 or older can obtain up to two passes per concert from any CPL location. Lawn passes become available at the beginning of the Ravinia Festival season, so make sure to check early in the summer if you want a wide selection to choose from.
These go fast and each branch has a limited amount of passes, so call ahead for availability before you try and get them. But this is a great resource to see some of the city's best museums for FREE. You can check out a one-week museum pass for four (two adults and two children). Just ask at the front desk. Passes are available for a total of 13 Chicago museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago History Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. For a complete list of participating institutions and more information, visit http://www.chipublib.org/eventsprog/programs/kids/grkids_museumpass.php.
Free WIFI and computer access
You can reserve a computer at any Chicago library by going online, or bring your laptop and use the free Wi-Fi. I went to Sulzer, and there was always a free computer for me to use. You just plug in your card number and you can have the computer for an hour. If no one else wants to use it, you can renew it. This was pretty awesome. If I were a kid with limited family resources, this place would be invaluable for doing online research for school work, free. For me, it was a great place to quietly get work done while my daughter was with her tutor.Kids activities