Ever since moving, I've been fully trying to integrate more into the community. I started by meeting all my neighbors and frequenting the corner stores. Then I moved on to scoping out the subway and finding my way to a few new neighborhoods. However, it wasn’t until I got my city library card that I truly felt at home. Not only was I able to check out all the books I wanted, but I also suddenly had access to more of the city than I ever could have imagined. 

Check things out

Obviously, the primary way to make the most out of your local library is to check out the materials they have for you. If your New Year’s resolution was to read more books or you’re trying to prepare yourself for that next job interview, you’re more than likely going to find what you need at your local library. You’ll also find DVDs, CDs, audiobooks and e-books that you might be interested in. Whatever it is, your library will either have it or be able to access it for you.

Make some new friends

One of the great parts of public libraries is that they aren’t just a location, but they're also community gathering places. They often host events and start clubs based on everything from a shared interest in knitting to keynote speeches by experts on everything and anything. If you’re new to an area or you’re looking to learn more about a specific subject, see if your local library has a group that interests you.

Spend some time on your own

Sometimes you just want a low-key day where you can just decompress without having to spend a lot of money. A great way to have a self-date can be a trip to the public library. You can browse all the magazines you can never bring yourself to buy at the grocery store checkout counter, people watch to your heart’s content and pick up a few new books for the weeks ahead. It’s a cheap and fun way to get out of your house and into the community you live in.

Give back to your community

If you’ve lived in your neighborhood for a while but don’t really feel like you’ve contributed enough of your time or energy into making it a better place, what better place to start than the library? Not only can you help the librarians restock shelves or organize materials, but you can also find out about other opportunities that might be more in line with your interests.