By Susan Larson, Director, Milton Public Library
The public library of the 21st century is a community center offering resources and services beyond books. Of course, books are still a cornerstone of our mission, and we have them for adults, young adults, and children in print, large print, and audio editions.
We also offer an array of resources and services for those with and without a Milton Public Library card. Here are 15 things to do at Milton Public Library that don’t involve borrowing a book.
1 – Borrow a Park or Museum Pass
Milton Public Library offers passes to select local attractions on a first come first served basis to Milton residents with a Milton Public Library card. Call 802-893-4644 or come by the library the day you want to use the pass. They are due back the same day, and may be left after hours in the book return behind the library. We have passes to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Shelburne Farms, Vermont State Parks, the Wiggle Room, and more. The complete list is on our website (https://miltonlibraryvt.org/) under What We Offer – Attraction Passes.
2 – Use the Computers and Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi for your own devices and public access computers are available for all visitors. You do not need a library card or password. There are nine public access computers. Five are set aside for adult use; four are reserved for children and teens. Public access computers are available on a first come first serve basis. You may use a computer for 30 minutes, and may extend your time if no one is waiting.
3 – Print, Copy, Scan
Black and white printing and copying is available at the library at a cost of 20 cents per page. Color printing is available at 50 cents per page. Library staff can scan a limited number of documents to an individual’s own USB device; or to a library USB device for use on a computer in the library. Fax and wireless printing are coming in summer 2019.
4 – Book the Meeting Room
Milton Public Library’s meeting room is available to groups or individuals during library hours for not-for-profit use. Private parties are not allowed. Library and town meetings have first priority. You can submit the online reservation form, and a staff member will confirm your reservation. Find the form on the website under Using the Library – Book the Meeting Room.
5 – Take Home the Orion StarBlast Telescope
Thanks to the Friends of Milton Public Library and the Vermont Astronomical Society, Milton Public Library has an Orion StarBlast telescope for loan. When you check out the telescope, you will also receive a canvas bag containing an instruction manual, an Orion Star Target constellation and celestial object finder, the National Audubon Society Pocket Guide “Constellations”, and a red pack containing a lens cleaning brush and a headlamp.
6 – Use HeritageQuest and Ancestry.com
Use your Milton Public Library card for free access to HeritageQuest for your genealogy research. Vermont State Archives and Records Administration records are available on Ancestry.com for free to Vermont residents via MyVermont.gov. For more information on creating an account, visit our website at Online Resources – Genealogy.
7 – Access Vermont Online Library
Vermont Online Library provides access to Gale databases, with research tools and resources for homework help, job hunting, small businesses, and more. Your Milton Public Library card provides you a free account. Choose to view all resources or more specific options by clicking the categories listed on the website under Online Resources – Vermont Online Library.
8 – Study or Work
More and more people are coming to the library with their own devices to study or work. We’ve added tables with power strips to accommodate your needs. You can also use our public computers.
9 – Take an Online Class
Universal Class offers more than 500 online courses, free to Milton Public Library cardholders. Browse all the offerings on our website under Online Resources – Online Classes.
10 – Find eBooks and eAudiobooks on OverDrive
Use your Milton Public Library card to create an account on OverDrive, your 24/7 collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, and read-along eBooks for kids and young adults. OverDrive even offers the Dyslexie font option, which helps those with dyslexia read better. For complete instructions, visit our website under Online Resources – eBooks and eAudiobooks.
11 – Read a Magazine or Newspaper
The library has print subscriptions to some 30 magazines and newspapers, and a digital subscription through RBdigital to some 50 magazines online. The digital editions are available to browse and read on your desktop and mobile devices. All you need is your Milton Library card number to create a free account. Find RBdigital on our website under Online Resources – Digital Magazines.
12 – Improve Your Computer Skills
One-on-one computer classes are held from 6 to 7 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Mondays, and on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Our volunteer tutors will structure your session around your needs. Registration is required for each class. Please call us at 802-893-4644.
13 – Take Home a DVD
DVDs are available for adults, young adults, and children. The selections include feature films, documentaries, and television shows. There is a limit of five DVDs at one time per cardholder.
14 – Join a Book Discussion Group
Our evening adult book group meets from 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. the first Thursday of each month. The daytime group meets from 2 – 3 p.m. the second Thursday of each month. Dorothy’s List book discussions are held for kids in grades four through eight from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. Copies of the next month’s book are available at each month’s meeting. To reserve a copy, call the library at 802-893-4644. You may request regular print, large print, and audio, as available.
15 – Attend a Program
Milton Public Library hosts ongoing weekly and monthly programs including early literacy story times, Milton Family Community Center Playgroup, Teen Space, Mah jongg, Bridge, Adult Coloring Club, Daycrafters, and many more. Special programs are held monthly for all ages. Coming up in April and May, for example, are Beekeeping, Owls and Their Calls, Vintage Video Games, Aromatherapy Bath & Body Blitz, Astrological Discovery, and an Alzheimer’s Association education series. Our programs are listed on our website, our Facebook page (facebook.com/miltonpubliclibraryvt/), and on calendar handouts available in the library.
There’s lots to do at Milton Public Library. We hope to see you soon!
This edition of Book Bits was first published in The Milton Independent on April 11, 2019. It is reprinted here, with permission.