Have you been to your local library lately? Not only is it a great source of books, perfect for summer reading, libraries have so much more to offer these days… and they do a great job making your job easier during summer break.

You know it’s important to encourage your kids to read as much as possible during the summer. It’s one of the best ways to ensure their minds stay active and that they retain much of what they’ve learned throughout the school year. But getting the kids to actually sit down and read is another story.

Almost all libraries host summer reading challenges for kids of all (reading) ages. Head on over to yours with the kids and get them signed up.

These challenges usually involve a reading log and the kids can win some sort of prizes. Many libraries will also host kick-off parties and various events throughout the summer to get kids into reading.

Speaking of events, your local library may be just the spot for some fun and frugal entertainment. Speak to your local librarian or check out the website to see what kinds of class, activities, and performances your local branch offers during the summer.

Many offer various different things for kids of all ages and even adults. From book readings and crafts to movies and magic shows, you never know what you might be missing unless you check the calendar.

Take the kids and encourage them to pick out a new book or two on the way out. Getting in the habit of reading daily and being curious about books and the information and imagination shared in them is one of the best gifts you can give your little ones.

Before you leave, explore everything else your library has to offer. Most will let you rent movies and audiobooks in addition to regular books. And let’s not forget about digital files.

Got a kindle? You can download kindle books and digital audiobooks to your eBook reader or smartphone via the Library website. Check with your helpful local librarian for more information.

I encourage you to take advantage of your library this summer. It doesn’t matter if you’re single, a parent with young kids, or a senior. Anyone can benefit from the various resources and services your local library has to offer. Plus it’s nice to support them by showing up often and making good use of what they have to offer.