Perhaps you’re like me and you’ve been taking the time you would have been spending gathering with family and friends, attending in-person events or planning holiday parties to instead catch up on your reading.

Of course, the library is a fantastic place to find a book, or several, to keep you busy during these socially-distant days. However, you may not know that the library offers so much more than just your next great read.

Would you like to join a book discussion? How about learn to make a tasty recipe from a local chef? Are you interested in personal finance or even buying a house in the COVID economy? The library can show you how! You can join the library Book Club or any of our popular programs for teens and grown-ups via Zoom. This virtual platform has made it possible for the library to provide fun, engaging and educational programs for our community in a safe (but still fun) way.

If hands-on activities are more your thing, check out our monthly Teen Takeaway and Adult Craft Take & Make programs, where you can pick up a kit with all the ingredients to do a project at home for free! Check out the library’s website at www.montroselibrary.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for information about upcoming events, and to learn how to sign up.

If you have a library card, you can access a wealth of free entertainment options right from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. If you’d like to read or listen to audiobooks, there’s Libby, our expansive e-book service. Are movies more your thing? Try Kanopy — a database full of films, many of which are award winners! Kanopy also offers a kids’ service that includes animated story books that are great for keeping little ones entertained.

If you want to get crafty before the holidays, check out Creativebug – a massive crafting database that includes more than 1,000 tutorials for sewing, knitting, calligraphy and more, for all skill levels. I can’t wait to use Creativebug to make holiday cards for all my loved ones!

Finally, remember that the library is open to the public! Many of our patrons come in to the library to use a computer or access our free Wi-Fi. You can use library computers to create a resume, apply for a job, or just surf the web! You can also come in to get help using any of the aforementioned apps, like Libby, on your phone or tablet. You can scan and copy documents here, or ask a friendly librarian to help you find information. We love welcoming our community into the library — just remember to wear your mask!

It’s always a pleasure to introduce people to all of the resources the library provides for our community. Come over to the Reference Desk the next time you’re in the library for more information on any of these book-free options.

Sara Rinne is head of Adult Services at the Montrose Regional Library.

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