IMG_6997It’s no secret that I’m completely obsessed with libraries. As an at-home parent they are an incredible resource for ideas, content and entertainment for the hours my kid is not in pre-school. Our local librarians are probably sick of us! We’re those people who are back every week for another tote bag filled with books.

1.) PASSES – The library has passes to the Boston Children’s Museum, Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, Peabody Essex Museum, Boston Aquarium, Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, USS Constitution Museum, JFK Library, Harvard Museums, Massachusetts State Park Pass, and even indoor play space Imajine That. These passes bring admission prices WAY down, from Free to about $10 per person depending on your destination.

2.) ORDER ONLINE – You can check out books from any library in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium network. That’s 36 libraries! Not every location has the same selection, so if you want something your library doesn’t have you can order it online through your library website using your card number and login (in North Andover your starting pin is the last 4 digits of the phone number you signed up with) and have it sent to your nearest library for pick-up. It usually takes only about 2-3 days.

3.) EVENTS, CLUBS & CLASSES – There’s so much more for kids than just story time! We’ve been to art classes, presentations on reptiles, puppet shows, music – there’s always something happening. For older children there are book clubs, art classes, Dungeons & Dragons, teen movie nights, Minecraft, Lego building sessions and more. For adults there are writer’s groups, board game night, genealogy research groups, book clubs, poetry open mic nights. Don’t know how to use your new smartphone or iPad? There’s even a tech help drop-in!

4.) MOVIES & MUSIC – You can rent modern (not just ancient) DVDs and music CDs. Just like books, you can order anything you want to borrow online at your library’s website and have it delivered to your nearest library. The libraries often hold public screenings of newer films as well.

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