JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – The library is not just a place where you can check out books or great movies or music. Most people don’t realize all the items you can check out from a library. Every library is different and has a different selection of items.
“So when I came in here and saw that they had board games, we started checking them out and then my husband and boys could play them. Then we could bring them back, and then there's no clutter at my home,” said Angela Devoss, mother of four boys.
Devoss checks out items at the Greenwood Branch of the Johnson County Public Library or JCPL. There are a wide variety of things you can check out at this library. Families can get experience passes to museums or events. There is also the "Library of Things" which includes baking kits, board games, outdoor games and even a pocket Wi-Fi.
"It's a little Wi-Fi hotspot. You can take it anywhere on the go and you can connect up to 10 devices to it, and basically you have internet wherever you go," said Whitney Woody, children's programmer at JCPL.
Library card holders can also borrow a book discussion set. All the items help families stretch their dollar by checking out items they don't have to spend money on. It's a simple process. All you need is a library card with the Johnson County Public Library system.
"You can check out things like cake pans, microscopes and cookie cutters, like the ones we have from 'Game of Thrones,'" said Woody.
Many of the things you can check out are educational and others are simply for fun. In this next case, it's a combination.
"This is great because it's basically a bird watching backpack. It's great for the family, complete with games, bird books, adult sized binoculars, bird guides and mini binoculars. It's really neat, I just love it because we can use this, have fun and bring it back," said Devoss.
JCPL also has electronic pads with games and educational items which is great to check out for long road trips. They also have outdoor lawn games and even a sewing machine.
"Everything we have here is having a positive effect since it was a community effort. These are the items people around here wanted so everyone has been pretty excited. They can now see what was actually implemented into our collection," said Woody.
Most libraries are doing the same, offering more things to check out, so check out your nearby library to see what they have as it may surprise you.
"Learning can be a lot more hands on. It's not just sitting down with a book and pencil and paper. We wanted to provide some materials so that people can be involved in some of those hands on learning activities without having to spend a lot of money," said Sarah Taylor, programming manager for JCPL.