Here’s what you can get besides books


There is much more to be found for free these days at local public libraries besides books, movies, and music.

“This is something that has emerged over the past five years,” Monica Baughman said.

Director of helpdesks for Worthington Libraries. “You might want to try it before you buy it and maybe not buy it yourself.”

This is where the new lending trend comes in.

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Library System “Adventure Kits” include camping gear, sewing machines, and telescopes. Automotive code readers are available to diagnose problems and jump starters for dead batteries. Light therapy is available at the cash desk during those long, dark winter days.

And the three-branch system will soon lend picnic blankets to accompany those attending outdoor storytelling hours, primarily for its Northwest branch. A complete list of its offers can be found here.

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Leisure items

Grandview Heights Public Library has 27 non-traditional items available at checkout. Some of the most unusual: guitars and ukuleles for ages 18 and over, binoculars, driving practice cones and runestones, and tarot cards for fortune telling.

If cultural activities such as the zoo or museums interest you but admission or membership is a deterrent, Columbus Metropolitan Libraries continues its Culture Pass program, which allows patrons to use their library cards to obtain passes to various local institutions.

These include the Columbus Museum of Art, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and the Ohio History Center.

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And if you want a beautiful piece of art for your home, but not forever, Westerville has hundreds of visual artwork that it lends to customers for 28 days at a time.

Southwestern Public Libraries, which serves the Grove City area, lends bicycle locks to its Westland Area Library branch. He is planning more articles in the near future.

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Education and health articles for all ages

Southwest and the Delaware County District Library have a wealth of help for those with dementia or memory loss issues. Delaware lends its Memory Care Collection. Items include: conversation and keepsake cards, skill and painting activities, and coloring books. Southwest offers similar activity boxes that include restless toys for different levels of memory loss.

And for students, the Delaware County four-branch library system also offers STEAM kits with projects for those interested in science, technology, the arts, engineering, or math.

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Upper Arlington Public Library also offers resources for children. Called discovery kits, the boxes include books, games, and toys and have themes such as time, money, and dinosaurs.

The library’s “healing kits” contain items to help children and adults cope with difficult situations such as Alzheimer’s disease, the death of a loved one and COVID-19, said Christine Minx, door – speech from the library.

And almost all libraries loan out WiFi hotspots, devices that use satellite signals to connect up to 10 wireless devices to high-speed internet. Most can be viewed for up to 14 days, enough time to complete a school assignment or stream the latest movies. Many also check out Chromebooks or laptops, also for up to two weeks.

So is all of this really free?

Well not really. Everyone who pays property taxes pays for it. The Columbus Library District mirrors the school district, and homeowners pay more than $ 80 per year for every $ 100,000 of property value.

Bexley, Delaware, Grandview Heights, Grove City (Southwest Public), Upper Arlington, Westerville, and Worthington each have their own levies, as do over 200 others statewide.

But in Ohio, the state also supports public libraries. And anyone can join any public library anywhere in the state. So if you see something that you would like to try, just become a library card holder.

Most public libraries have links to these items under the “Services” tab of their websites.

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