We Edmontonians are very fortunate that we have a community resource that goes above and beyond the typical definition of a library. It is a comprehensive repository of free resources and accessible facilities to encourage learning, building and making one’s ideas a reality.
This is an overview of the different items and services that are available through the Edmonton Public Library system, that range from what would be commonly expected, as well as one-of-a-kind ones.
Physical Items to rent
•Books: As expected of a library, there are lots of books on various subject matters and genres that one can borrow. New parents can take home books for kids and there is an endless supply of these at the library. I have personally borrowed Filipino books that were available as well. Accessible formats are also available such as books with Large Print, in addition to audio books on CD.
•Video Games: The cost of video games can add up, and these are a huge part of the entertainment and education aspects of our lives these days. The good news is, there are video games for the most popular gaming systems that can be borrowed from the library, free of charge.
•Music and Movies: The library has a large selection of CDs and DVDs to help everyone enjoy music and movies at virtually no cost. Whether for educational or entertainment purposes, the ability to rent these items for several weeks provides patrons with enough time to enjoy them, and then return them for other people to do the same.
Facilities to Use
•Meeting Rooms and Theatres: For a reasonable hourly rate, there are meetings rooms and theaters that can be booked for various kinds of gatherings.
•MakerSpace: These facilities enable users to not just absorb information, but to bring ideas to life. Equipment is available such as 3D printers, computers with video editing software, a recording studio, even a seeing machine, with staff available to help with using them.
•Computer and Internet Access: Similar to the Internet Cafes in the Philippines, all library branches have computers that users can borrow by the hour, for free. This is handy for those who cannot afford the internet or have no computer. In addition, printing and photocopying services are available as well.
• Lots of E-Books: There are e-books that one can read right off the computer browser, or that uses an E-book app suck as OverDrive. This makes reading much more accessible from smartphones and tablets.
• Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions: Many Newspapers and magazines require a monthly fee, but through your library card number, you can get access to many online versions of magazines, through services such as Freading and Flipster.
• Online Digital Content: By logging in and using your library card and password, you can get access to a lot of online streaming content, such as Acorn TV, Kanopy, Hoopla, and more. While the selection may not be as extensive as Netflix, these platforms can provide access to independently produced content, classic movies, documentaries and educational shows.
Our mayor describes libraries as our ‘indoor public spaces.’ Just like parks, these places are open to everyone.
This is just a summary of the programs and resources available, and the library actively tries to extend and adapt itself to serve everyone. It’s free to get a library card and it’s really easy! For more information and to see the locations in your area, go to www.epl.ca.