Many of us spent the last few weeks barbequing, gardening or swimming at the pool or beach. In Michigan, there’s nothing like spending the warm summer months outdoors under the sun. But sometimes you need a break from these activities and perhaps a change of scenery. For me, when that feeling hits, I head to my local library to sit in a big, comfy chair and read. Diving into a mystery or studying up on history – the library offers readers plenty of options. And even if you aren’t in the market for a new book, you can use a computer, spend an afternoon in a class or keep your child occupied while school is out with programming, toys and games. So while it may not seem like the most traditional summer activity, heading to your local library is certainly a wonderful option if you are looking for something to do. And I tell you this from personal experience. My parents took me to the library every summer and it was probably one of the best things they could have done for me. I was enrolled in reading clubs and participated in summer camps. One year, I even got to join other children in spending the night at our library as a reward for finishing a certain number of books. We stayed up late eating pizza, playing games and running through the aisles. It’s a memory that I think of often. One that is special; something I’ll never forget.
Here in Macomb County, you can make your own summer memories at one of the 26 public libraries located throughout the region. These organizations are our area’s top resources for all things reading, culture and entertainment. For instance, the Clinton-Macomb Library has three locations with many amenities and plenty of programming. On July 31, you can stop into the North Branch for Harry Potter games. Or, on August 13, the Main Library will host Rufus McGaugh, a retired social studies teacher who has visited every country in the world. You can even check out (for free or for a small fee) passes to some of Michigan’s best parks, museums and activities!
At the Mount Clemens Public Library, you’ll find similar events, opportunities and resources. But perhaps the thing that separates the Cass Avenue organization from neighboring libraries are its genealogy collection and services. Mount Clemens Public Library has one of Macomb County’s most extensive genealogy collections – with more than 3,000 print volumes, 5,000 reels of microfilm, popular subscription databases and locally produced databases indexing Macomb County and Mount Clemens records. These resources can help you trace your family tree and origin – a unique and exciting summer project.
The best part? Spending time at your local library is quite affordable! You don’t need to purchase a coffee to get the Wi-Fi code or buy a book to read it. All you need is your library card and you’ll have access to endless opportunities. And if you can’t physically make it to the library but want to spend a summer afternoon wrapped up in a book, there are a number of resources available to card holders online. For instance, Hoopla and Libby applications allow library patrons to download or stream media content (like eBooks and audio books) free of charge.
So if you find yourself getting lost in the hustle and bustle that is the summer season and need a break, check out our local library system and get lost in a book instead.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.