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COLUMN: Libraries are summer’s best friend

No matter what your summer plans, the George Mackie Library has you covered

By Marisa Tutt

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” — Jenny Han, author

June. The month before July. The anticipation. The excitement. Who doesn’t love summer?

You might not think of a visit to the library as part of your dreamy summer plans. But beyond picking up your usual books and movies, the library can be summer’s best friend. Here are five (more) reasons to use the library this summer.

1. Travel Guides

If you’re lucky enough to have a vacation (or staycation) booked, check out the library’s collection of travel guides. Books from publisher’s like Lonely Plant, Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Rough Guides and Avalon (Rick Steves) are available in print and e-books. Or try Global Road Warrior, an online database providing access to maps, cultural and travel information, and country reports for over 175 countries.

2. Lifelong Learning

While most children flee from all things school-related during the summer months, it’s a great time for adults seeking mental stimulation on their days off. Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) offers two resources, both available for home use: Mango Languages and Lynda.com. Mango lets you learn a language online including conversations skills. Lynda has thousands of video courses taught by industry experts. Anyone can learn business, software, technology, creative skills, and more.

3. The Playground

The Playground, FVRL’s collection of “things,” now has three things to borrow. In addition to borrowing a ukulele (don’t forget to borrow a how-to book to go with) and Sphero SPRK+ robotic ball (great for adults and children alike), you can now take home a tabletop telescope.

4. Summer Reading Club (for all ages)

Most people know about Summer Reading Club for kids. There’s programs, prizes and most importantly, incentive for kids to continue their reading skills over the summer. What you might not be aware of is that there are also reading clubs for adults and teens. We all love prizes, and if you’re already reading over the summer, why not keep track and win a prize while you’re at it. For teens, this year’s grand prize is a Nintendo Switch – if that’s not incentive, we’re not sure what is. Summer Reading Club starts June 21 – stay tuned for more information.

5. Library On-Demand

One of the best reasons to use the library this summer has nothing to do with visiting the library at all. Instead, we want you to bring the library with you – 24/7. All you need is a computer, tablet or smart phone and access to Wi-Fi in order to borrow digital content (books, magazines, audio books, music and movies). Ask us about RBdigital, Overdrive, Naxos, IndieFlix and, for the littles, TubleBooks. A few weeks before your trip, book a free one-on-one appointment with library staff to get your devices set-up.

Whatever your summer plans, the library has you covered. Our programs, services and resources are free – a word you don’t hear often enough these days. When travelling, public libraries can also provide respite. Visitors can use the Internet, read the local paper and take part in a program. At the very least, consider this one last reason: we’ve got air conditioning.

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