Find More at the Library than Just Books

library resources

When I was a kid I spent a lot of my summer at the library. My stay-at-home mom would get all three of us in the van, and we make a trip out of it. We could check out 10 books each and we’d all fill a bag with kids books to enjoy for the week. I also participated in the summer reading programs where you could earn a free book to keep if you read a certain amount.

I loved sitting down on the couch with my big bag of books and pulling them out one by one to read as soon as I got home. For a family that didn’t have a lot of money, the library was a God send. And it can be that for any family, if we all knew how to utilize it.

Whether it’s a heat wave or a snowy day, why not take a trip to the library? Books have always let children step into a new world, and now there are even more ways for kids to expand their mind!

Libraries are vital to our society. They are one of the few places where people are allowed to just be. You can come and spend time without being expected to spend money. You can get out of the heat or the cold. This protects our most vulnerable, the homeless, the impoverished and any members of society that need extra support. 

Libraries are even helping ensure kids in need are fed! KCPL Kids Cafe Sessions and MCPL Read and Feed programs provide free meals for children ages 1-18.

There is so much more to a library than just books. Kansas City has wonderful library coverage between the Kansas City Public Library, the Johnson County Library and the Mid-Continent Public Library systems.

You can register for a card online; and don’t have to go to a branch to take advantage of all the online content that’s offered. You can listen to audiobooks or music, and you even can learn to speak a new language for free by using your library card to log in to the mango language app! 

Libraries have very helpful websites Kansas City Public Library, Johnson County Library and Mid-Continent have kids specific pages, too. 

How Can Library Resources Help Your Family?

  • If your kid is struggling in school, libraries offer live homework help.
  • If your kids are bored, they can get free digital books, audiobooks, comics, magazines and even movies!
  • If you need a break, but don’t want to watch the Cars movie for the millionth time, look into library virtual programs and storytimes.
  • Looking for more ways engage your child’s mind and increase their curiosity? Libraries have subscriptions to many databases such as National Geographic Kids and WorldBook that can be accessed online from home with a library card. 
  • Do you want to read, but don’t know where to start? Get customized reading suggestions for the whole family. (Find info here for MCPL or KCPL or JoCo
  • Are you in need of more adult conversations to help keep you sane? Join a virtual book club.

In addition to these fun resources, all of the libraries offer practical resources like free wi-fi, computer access, remote/mobile printing, copy, fax, scan and even Wi-fi hotspots that can be checked out and taken home.

Even at 14mo, our kiddo loved books!

And many of the local libraries have updated their building to have better child friendly spaces with great seating, sensory toys and more.

It’s been a difficult year and a half. We’ve all been surviving a deadly pandemic and it hasn’t been easy. Libraries have always been a safe haven and now libraries are partnering with local health departments to offer free vaccine clinics. If you or anyone you know would like to get vaccinated, reach out to your local library and see when the clinics are available. 

Libraries do so much for our community. If you get the chance, thank your librarian because they work very hard to make the library work for you!

Bethany Duber is a foster parent to two incredible toddler boys. Born and raised in Raytown, Bethany graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2012 with the dream of becoming a copywriter for an ad agency. After 7 years of the ad word, she decided to change careers and is now working as the Special Events Coordinator at FosterAdopt Connect. This new career brings an exciting new challenge and allows her continue her dedication to helping kids in foster care. Bethany knows first-hand some of the unique challenges foster parents face. She also knows how incredibly rewarding it is to be given the title mommy and is thankful for every moment she has with her precious kiddos. Bethany’s passions include her family, improving the lives of kids in foster care, and fighting for social justice. Her hobbies include writing poetry and children’s books, podcasting with her husband about movies and supporting local KC businesses.