More Than Just Books!

laptop keyboard, smartphone and book
Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay 

You might be thinking you don’t need libraries, in this age of easy access to information.  But, I think you do.  Here are some ways you can use your library which you may not know about.

With your library card you can access Transparent Languages, an easy to use, online language learning program.  Go to http://www.tbpl.ca/learnalanguage and follow the instructions.  You’ll have a choice of over 100 languages, including Cree, several dialects of Ojibwe, Finnish, and Latin.  There are also options for those learning English as a second language.  Once you create an account online, you can use the Transparent Languages app on the go, from anywhere in the world you have internet access.

Your library card also gives you access to an online collection of magazines, including Vogue, Canadian Living, and The Hockey News.  Go to http://www.tbpl.ca/emagazines to get started.  You can check out as many magazines as you like, and read them on your computer, phone or tablet.

Last fall we introduced CloudLibrary, a new eBook platform.  CloudLibrary gives you access to eBooks, and eAudiobooks which you can download and read on many devices.  Visit our website at http://www.tbpl.ca/ebooks for more information.

Tumblebooks are interactive eBooks for kids, and are also found at http://www.tbpl.ca/ebooks.  Tumblebooks are perfect for children learning to read, and those in French Immersion.  They’re also perfect for parents needing a break!

We have a large, well-used collection of DVDs, including popular movies, TV series, documentaries, and exercise programs.  Is your hockey team heading out for a long roadie on a bus with a DVD player?  Check out a few seasons of Letterkenny, the documentary Pond Hockey, or the 2020 Vancouver Olympic gold medal games, and make that bus time meaningful.

Did you grow up in Thunder Bay?  Plan to spend an afternoon at the Brodie Library and discover something new about your family, childhood home, or neighbourhood.  We have a rich collection of local history resources, and helpful staff to get you started.  You might find your birth announcement in the local paper, read a letter your grandpa wrote to Santa, and that picture of you and your friends in the Canada Day parade.

You can use the popular genealogical database Ancestry at any of your four library locations, either by using a library computer, or our wifi on your own device.  Ancestry is easy to use, and fascinating.  The local branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society regularly holds workshops at the library, which are free to attend.  Visit the local history and genealogy page on our website for much more information:  http://www.tbpl.ca/localhisandgen

Library staff, with the help of volunteers, select and deliver books to home bound and visually impared people. Go to http://www.tbpl.ca/homeservice on our website for more information.

All four library locations have meeting rooms, and other spaces, which may be booked by community members.  If you need a space for your group to meet, a private room for a skype interview, or to study, we can accommodate you.  Library spaces are free to use for non-profit groups and individuals, and available for a reasonable fee for businesses.  Go to http://www.tbpl.ca/meetingrooms for details.

This is just a small sample of ways you can use your Library.  I encourage you to visit us, and chat with our helpful staff to learn more, get a copy of our Connect newsletter, explore our website, and follow us on social media (we are @TBayPL).  Also, let us know if there is a service, collection, or program we don’t offer which you’re interested in — we love to hear from you.

Joanna Aegard – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!

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