Maine has over 260 public libraries. Locate a library near you.

Public libraries are often considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population. Public Libraries provide free services such as preschool story times to encourage early literacy, quiet study and work areas for students and professionals, or book clubs to encourage appreciation of literature in adults. Maine public libraries circulate millions of items each year. In addition to print books and magazines most public libraries today have a wide array of other media including audiobooks, e-books, DVDs, CDs and videotapes as well as facilities to access the Internet.

Most, if not all, offer inter-library loans (borrowing items from other libraries).

Public libraries may also provide other services, such as community meeting rooms, storytelling sessions for infants, toddlers, preschool children, or after-school programs, all with an intention of developing early literacy skills and a love of books. In person and on-line programs for reader development, language learning, homework help, free lectures and cultural performances, and other community service programs are common offerings. One of the most popular programs offered in public libraries are summer reading programs for children, families, and adults.

Public libraries also provide materials for

children, often housed in a special section. Child oriented websites with on-line educational games and programs specifically designed for younger library users are becoming increasingly popular. Services may be provided for other groups, such as large print materials, Books on Tape and materials specifically for the young adult population.

Librarians at most public libraries provide reference and research help to the public at any time during regular operating hours. Public libraries are also increasingly making use of web 2.0 services, including the use of online social networks by libraries to answer reference queries and to update their patrons on events and happenings at their local library.

Visit a library near you!

Source: American Library Association

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