5 Tried-and-true Ways to Use Your Library Card

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! A library card is 100% FREE, and gives you access to technology, resources, and services to pursue your passions and dreams. This summer, the library went fine-free, so the opportunity is sweeter than ever.

Here are the 5 best ways to use a library card. (Did we mention that it’s all free?)

5. Walk in and borrow a book, or two, or ten…

You knew this one already, but we think the basics are important! The library has literally thousands of books for you to borrow, in every genre, and we’re getting new ones all the time. Most of our staff is also great at giving recommendations for what to read next, if you feel stuck. We have classics, mysteries, fiction, nonfiction on every topic you could think of, and if we don’t have it, we can probably get it from someplace else in the state and let you know when it’s ready for you.

woman reading book

4. Learn a new language

We subscribe to Mango Languages, which is an amazing online language-learning resource. You can register an account to track your progress, or use it as a guest. Anyone in RI with a library card can access it and start learning Spanish, French, or Mandarin to communicate better with the people around you, learn a fun language like Shakespearean or Pirate, or choose from more than 70 options.

You can click here to get started with Mango.

mango languages logo

3. Borrow from home with the eZone

If you don’t want to leave the house, you can download ebooks and audiobooks to your computer, tablet, eReader or other mobile devices for free! Since the start of the pandemic, OSL has put a lot of resources into providing e-resources for people who are social distancing or quarantining. You can find a great read right on your phone. There are recommendations going up all the time, chosen by real library workers.

Visit the Ocean State Libraries eZone to get started!


2. Borrow something from far away

If you’re a regular library user, you know that we are a member of the OSL network. You can get books from pretty much any public library in Rhode Island delivered to us, and we loan our books all over the state, too.

You might not know that we also offer really robust Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services to the local colleges, and out-of-state libraries. It isn’t as fast or reliable as the regular delivery, but it’s one of the coolest things we do. If you’re looking for something that we don’t have, Katherine in Reference can probably get it for you. If you’re looking for a textbook or something rare, the library still has your back.

flat lay photography of camera, book, and bag

1. Borrow a kit

Miss Alyce has been extremely busy in the past year finding new things for our patrons to use. We have knitting looms, podcasting gear, a 3D pen, a gravity maze, and science tools that you can use to improve your STEM skills, get creative, or just have fun.

These items are super popular, so visit early and often to get your hands on them. And keep an eye out, because we keep adding more.

black and silver nissan steering wheel


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