Ohio offers a lot of libraries with all sorts of benefits or perks. Many people may only have a single library card from their local library but have you ever considered checking out other libraries in YOUR state? I happen to live in a county that does not offer a county-wide system but each town manages their own library. A few tie in with the larger Dayton Metro Public Library system but even having library cards from all of those isn’t enough for this frugal homeschool mama!
I have super long book lists for my not quite ready to read Kindergarten son to my teen daughter who is searching for a favorite genre. I personally have a list of audiobooks for parenting and homeschool encouragement that I want to tackle. How can I accomplish this with a meager budget and near empty gas tank?
Simply by signing up for a few more library cards online at bigger library systems. I am going to share why I have library cards from Cleveland Public Library, Toledo Lucas County Public Library and The Public Library of Cincinnati. I only had to actually step foot in a Cincinnati location the other two you can apply online for a card.
If you remember reading my free must have apps for homeschooling then you are already familiar with Hoopla, Librivox and Overdrive. One thing you might not know is that each library offers different ebook and audiobooks via Overdrive. While many libraries offer Hoopla not all offer the same limit. Why does this matter you might ask? Well, simply put you can borrow a wider selection of books by having more library cards. I was part of a blogger book club but couldn’t buy a new book each month so finding them via Overdrive was my goal. This proved difficult with just my local smaller libraries ebook and audiobook selection.
Another example of the benefits of more than one card is wait list time. I was #55 on 5 books when I first found The Read Aloud Family audiobook back in July. I just happened to search The Public Library of Cincinnati over the weekend and it was available to borrow-NO WAITING! When we didn’t get through an audiobook and wanted to pick up right where we left off I was able to borrow it from another library to finish it and then returned it as soon as we were done. No fines. No lines. No gas money spent!
Benefits at Cleveland Public Library
Talking with a few local mom’s and one asked about Rosetta Stone and low and behold Cleveland library patrons can access Rosetta Stone from home online! I am super excited to check this out as my teens each want to learn a different foreign language. Princess wants to learn French and Eldest was wanting to learn Spanish but more recently he mentioned that he was interested in Mandarin.
Another awesome feature at the Cleveland Library is the Family Pass which includes free Cleveland Museum of Natural History Passes that can be checked out at any circulation desk location!
Benefits at Toledo Lucas County Library
I just checked and the Homework Helper section includes ScienceFlix through Scholastic, CultureGrams, Explora Schools, Tutor.com,and National Geographic Kids plus many more. Can you say easy afternoon learning of my younger boys choice? The websites seem to be a similar set up as Bookflix which a few local libraries offer for preschool to 3rd graders.
If you happen to live close to Toledo then I highly recommend checking out their Other Materials collection which includes GoPro cameras, telescopes, playaway launchpads, laser engravers and so much more. Plus you will want to check out their new Mobile Technology Center which brings technology and computer classes to your group!
Benefits at The Public Library of Cincinnati
I was searching for unique online benefits when I came across the Discovery Pass which allows card holders to visit museums, parks and culture centers for FREE! The Great Parks of Hamilton County day pass must be reserved online and picked up at a library location but the other locations offer a printable version. I have never been to the Harriet Beecher Stowe House or The Betts House so either of these could make a great field trip in the future. When we are visiting Cincinnati then we can visit a new location for free instead of paying for admission!
For High School students you can apply for Career Online High School. This program prepares students for careers whether they are entering the workplace for the first time or want to advance in their current places of employment.
For younger children, TumbleBooks, is an animated talking book program in English, French and Spanish. Big Red and I watched the story of Andrew Carnegie and learned all about how he came to America when he was 12 and how he earned his fortune which he in turn used to build libraries. ( A great lesson in History, Character and Philanthropy all in one!)
All of these benefits are both useful and exciting for me and my family and I hope they are for yours as well.