If the last novel you picked up was To Kill a Mockingbird in high school English, and that wasn't even of your own volition, you may think the three branches of the Denton Public Library system have little to offer you. Well, you'd be wrong. The virtues of the Denton Public Library range far beyond the printed word. Here are ten ways to put the library to use for you without even opening a book.
Find your tribe
With support groups for anyone from breastfeeding moms to Alzheimer’s caregivers and workshops on topics ranging from Tunisian crochet to vermiculture, you’re bound to find a group you click with at the library. The diverse and sometimes obscure interests of Dentonites are well represented in the Denton Public Library’s event calendar. Admit it, you had to Google “vermiculture”. (Spoiler alert: It’s worm composting.)
Uncover your roots
The Special Collections department at the Emily Fowler Central Library offers a wealth of genealogy and local history resources. Fowler hosts monthly meetings of the Denton County Genealogical Society and programs on topics such as cemetery research, Hispanic family records, and genealogy websites. Your Denton Public Library card also gives you access to online resources such as Fold3 by Ancestry, a database of materials covering American military history.
Entertain the kiddos
The library is a worthy go-to when the kids are bored silly or the weather isn’t cooperating with that trip to the park you had planned. On any given day, you have a more than decent shot of catching a story-time or kids’ program in progress. Even at non-program times, the children’s areas at each branch are well stocked with toys and activities to keep the littles busy. Bonus: The limited number of iPads and computers in the kid areas provide an excellent opportunity for your kids to practice sharing (or living with disappointment).
Build your business
In addition to a regular support group for small business owners, the Denton Public Library also offers free, confidential business mentoring by appointment. Check the library calendar for programs on topics like crowdfunding, marketing strategies, financial planning, and business loans.
The Forge at the North Branch is a makerspace that supplies technological creativity tools for the library’s more techie patrons and direction for newbies looking to get their feet wet. Attend a free orientation class to use the 3D printer, learn how to solder, or take a step-by-step programming class. No matter what your level of experience, The Forge has something to offer.
Learn a new skill
Your Denton Public Library account gives you access to Lynda.com, an online collection of video tutorials to learn career-building skills in areas such as web development, business, and graphic design. Normally, a subscription to Lynda.com’s content would cost you $20 to $30 a month. With your Denton Public Library card? Free.
Binge on online content
If you’re among those who have abandoned that beloved musty book smell for the warm glow of a Kindle, the library is an excellent source for digital content. Use your library account to check out e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, digital magazines, and more on OverDrive, Zinio, and hoopla digital.
Visit the library website to connect with resources such as Brainfuse, which offers on-demand assistance from live tutors for students from kindergarten to college. In addition to foreign language and writing labs, Brainfuse also features test preparation resources to help users get ready for the SAT, ACT, and more.
Find a job
The library offers online access to career resources such as the Learning Express Library, a database with courses on building your resume and preparing for interviews. It also offers practice tests for occupation exams in fields from air traffic control to real estate. Or, connect to the Job & Career Accelerator through the library research tools page to access advanced job and internship search engines.
Okay, this one involves the more traditional practice of actually checking things out of the library, but it’s worth knowing. The North Branch has a drive-through window where you can return materials or pick up items on hold. And since you can put holds on materials from any branch and have them delivered to the North Branch, you can pick up everything you need at one fell swoop, all without leaving your car. And if you want to pick up your holds while out walking your dog, sometimes they even have a tin of dog treats at the window for the library’s four-legged patrons. It’s adorable.
If we’ve piqued your interest in all the Denton Public Library has to offer, visit the website to find out how to get your card. It’s free, and there’s no age limit. ‘Cause there’s hardly anyone so empowered as a little kid with their own library card. There are three library locations in Denton, so if you live in town, there's one nearby! Hop to it, folks!