February is the month that celebrates presidents, movie stars, groundhogs, and of course love. We know all about Valentine’s Day, but there’s another, lesser-known celebration of love: Library Lovers’ Month.
Like any great romance or close relationship, you have to get to know that “special someone” before you can really love them. Once you understand what the LPL does for our community, I think you’ll see how easy it is to love the library!
If you are not yet following us on Instagram, now is the time to hit that “follow” button @Levittownpl! Throughout the month of February, we will be posting some of the many reasons to love the Levittown Public Library, including a few surprises along the way. If you’re in the building, be sure to take a look at our Library Lovers’ display across from the Teen Lounge. Going along with this celebration of library love, I’ve decided to include my own 10 Reasons to Love the LPL:
- Our Staff!
Libraries have always been about more than books; they’re about people. The people who walk through our doors and the people like me, who work behind a desk and try our best to help you find what you need. We happen to have an amazing staff, the very best, in my opinion! Having worked here for nearly a decade (as of February 17th!), I can tell you with all sincerity that some of the greatest people I have ever known have worked at the Levittown Library. Kindness and generosity are not virtues that we take for granted around here. When you visit the LPL, you are more than likely to be greeted with warm smiles and a welcoming hello. If you become a “regular,” I can almost guarantee that we will remember your name, the names of your children, grandchildren, and even your favorite authors. We pay attention because we care.
2. FREE Museum Passes!
The LPL’s Museum Pass Program is one of our most popular services. I’ve written an entire post about the financial benefits of reserving museum passes. For example, if a family of four were to visit the Long Island Children’s Museum–one of our most requested selections–it would cost $52, not to mention food and souvenirs. Our passes allow you and your family and/or friends to enjoy a wide variety of cultural experiences free of charge. With passes available through our Reference and Children’s Departments, there is sure to be a museum to meet your interests, whether it be aviation, art, nature, science and more.
3. You can create, make, and innovate at the LPL!
Almost three years ago (as of October 17th), the Levittown Public Library opened the Innovation Station, a multi-functional MakerSpace that has since become a community hub. We have welcomed hundreds of creative patrons, including Girl and Boy Scout Troops and local elementary classes. In addition to introducing the wonders of STEAM to the public, the Innovation Station has given us the opportunity to go out into our community and beyond; We’ve brought our equipment–including 3Doodlers, LEGO Mindstorms, Cricut machines, and Sphero Robotic Balls–to local schools and even to Barnes & Noble in conjunction with their Mini Maker Faires. Our Innovation Station received a mention in a recent Newsday article, “Long Island libraries lend tablets, 3-D gadgets, museum passes, more,” showing that local libraries, including our very own, are on the cutting edge of creativity and technology. If you think you don’t have the talent or the technical savvy to be a Maker, think again. The Innovation Station specializes in fun, so there’s no wrong way to innovate, create, or make. Visit us to see some of the incredible samples made by our talented Media Department staff and consider scheduling your own reservation with us!
4. BOOKS, BOOKS, AND MORE BOOKS!
Here’s an understatement: We own a lot of books! How many, you ask? A couple thousand? Maybe 50,000? Nope. The Levittown Public Library’s most recent book total is….drumroll please…231,380 books! If we do a little quick census research and some fast calculator work, this means the ratio of books to Levittowners is 4:1! We own more books than there are people in our town! This doesn’t even include the books that we can access on your behalf, thanks to Overdrive and interlibrary loan, the latter of which is a service that provides our residents with materials from out of district, out of state, and even out of the country! We have books for every person, every age, every interest. Come browse out shelves for the most unusual and unexpected books you can find!
5. We’re cheaper than any streaming service out there!
Without naming names, we’re all familiar with the many ways to consume entertainment these days. Even though there are more options than ever, these services come at a cost. When you add up your music, movies, and TV shows, money that could be saved for a new car or a vacation is going towards entertainment that can be accessed for free here at the LPL. We stock the newest releases and are always open to suggestions when it comes to our purchases. When you decide to finally start watching The Wire or you waited too long to see La La Land in theaters and you’re looking for the DVD or Blu-Ray, save your money and look for them at the library instead.
6. Public computers and printers for all!
If you’ve ever had a computer crash or a printer run out of ink when you need a school report finished or a resume on hand, you understand the type of rage mixed with panic that technology can induce. Thankfully, the LPL has computers, tablets, and e-readers available for all age groups. Within a single visit, your youngest child can play a game on one of our Krayon Kiosk iPads, your high schooler can use a laptop in the Teen Lounge to create their PowerPoint presentation, and you can print out your boarding passes for that much-needed vacation! Our other forms of technology, including children’s Launchpads and Playaway Views, as well as Nooks and Google Nexus Tablets for adults, are yet another way in which the library provides technology to enhance your life without destroying your checking account.
7. Record the exciting moments of your life!
Speaking of technology, another unique item that we loan out to LPL patrons is the GoPro Camera. This tiny camera is meant to capture our lives in motion. It comes with a head strap mount and waterproof casing, making it perfect for outdoor, messy adventures. Whether you’re biking a mountain trail, swimming with dolphins, or skateboarding down your street, the GoPro Camera can capture these moments from your point of view. To ignite your adventurous side, take a peek at this compilation of the best GoPro action videos of 2016.
8. Travel back in time!
I bet you didn’t know that the LPL has a time machine, did you? Okay, so it might not be an H.G. Wells, Science Fiction type of time machine, but I still think it’s a pretty cool way to reconnect with the past. I’m talking about our microfilm reader, of course. The LPL happens to be one of only two locations to own the entire run of the now-defunct Long Island Press, which has proved to be a treasure trove for long-time local residents: obituaries, wedding announcements, thrilling articles of sports wins and Beatles concerts; you name it, and it’s been searched for and found thanks to our unofficial time machine in the Media Department. We own The New York Times dating back to the Civil War and the London Times going all the way back to the 18th century! With genealogy being such a popular topic/hobby (use your LPL card to access Ancestry and Heritage Quest databases!), our extensive microfilm collection is an amazing and FREE research tool. If nothing else, you can at least pop on a reel and gape at the milk prices back in the day or shake your head at the overuse of the term “spinster.”
9. We are more connected than ever!
Like the majority of the world, the LPL is tuned into technology and social media. Gone are the days when the only way to reach the library was with the telephone. Don’t get me wrong, you can still call us; we welcome your call! Thankfully, though, there is now more than one way to get in touch with us. We have a vibrant website that is updated on a regular basis and frequently retooled to make it as eye-catching and user friendly as possible. We have our Text-A-Librarian service, perfect for quick questions (or longer questions if you’re not much of a phone person). We have our Robly service that sends out email blasts to keep you up-to-date with the latest library happenings. Finally, we have our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter (@levittownpl), Pinterest, and Instagram (Haven’t hit the “follow” button yet? Do it now! #BookFaceFridays is reason enough to keep our Instagram on your radar).
10. You can create friendships that go the distance!
Weren’t expecting this one, were you? Yes, the library is a social place. We offer programs on pretty much a daily basis, programs that run the gamut from toddler storytimes to cooking classes to defensive driving courses. All of these events are opportunities to meet and mingle, sometimes with people you know and most of the time with people you’ve never met. The best part is that you already have something in common: the library! I have personal experience to back this up. When I was a 12-year-old bookworm, newly transplanted from Queens and languishing with few friends during the two months before I began my new school, my mother enrolled me in a program at our (new) library: Pack-A-Book. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s still around and going very strong. Everyone brought in a book they were reading along with their brown bag lunch, and we would discuss our books and play games. It was fun! And I made a friend! Turns out she went to the same school I would be starting in the fall. That friend? She’s still one of my best friends to this day. And we both work at the library, which I think says something along the lines of once a bookworm, always a bookworm. The moral of the story: You never know who you’ll meet at the library.
We are not a one-size-fits all community; we are diverse, with different needs and different ways of communicating. Love the library because we know this and we adapt to meet you where you are. If you don’t love the library yet, you just aren’t looking close enough.