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5 things you might not know about your local library

5 things you might not know about your local libraryLibraries are a great place to get hold of books, but did you know about these other ways you could use your local library?

1: Ebooks and audiobooks

With many UK libraries, you can now borrow a book in an instant without even leaving the house. Lots of libraries run schemes which allow you to download a book to your computer or mobile phone either as a written ebook or as an audiobook. Not only is this really convenient if you don't live near the library or you want to listen to a book when walking to school, you also don't have to worry about the book you want being lent to someone else!

2: Events and workshops

There's a lot going on at the library that you might not notice. Reading groups and book shops might not come as a big surprise, but lots of libraries also run drama workshops and clubs for everything from videogames to knitting. If you're into film, library film nights can offer something a bit different to the local Odeon - and much cheaper!

3: Online tools

Whether it's for a school project or your own curiosity, the online tools at your library can be incredibly useful. For example, you can log in to the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary from your own computer with nothing more than your library card number. You might also be able to access online versions of magazines and newspapers among other resources. Ask at your library for more information.

4: 24-hour services

Libraries are finding unusual ways to help you use their facilities even when they’re closed. Things like ebooks and online access help, but a library in Newcastle has taken things a bit further. A book vending machine on the city's John Dobson Street lets library users borrow and return books around the clock.

5: Archives

It's not just bestsellers and reference books on the shelves at your local library. They also store archives of local history and records. For example, old census records and local newspapers can help you find out more about your family history, or the history of the place you live in.

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