The courtyard at Headquarters Library.
1. Books. At every library, there is a plethora of reading options for all ages. Choices include hot new releases of both fiction and non-fiction; titles from bestseller lists; an enormous collection of titles for adults, plus serial books for binge reading; young adult and children’s books and even picture books for infants; as well as comic books (for any age!). Don’t forget to put your sought-after title on hold.
2. Adult Programs. A large selection of adult programs – including those for book lovers like book discussions, the Meet the Author series and the Mystery Book Club for those who love the crime/mystery genre – are hosted at every library. Adults can register for programs such as fitness classes or attend lectures about health care and Ted Talks. Hobbyists can opt for programs on coloring books and stamping. The Feature Film Series is enticing, too. A new calendar of offerings is released each month. Registration is required for most programs, which can fill up fast. Look for printed brochures in the library or visit www.Collierlibrary.org/programs.
3. Movies. Check out the hottest DVDs from the library for free, and keep for up to one week! Each library cardholder can check out 10 titles as well as reserve them. Are you a Game of Thrones junkie but don’t subscribe to HBO? Every season, including the latest one, is available. Twice a month a list of new arrivals is revealed, and patrons can place those newly acquired titles on hold. And recently, the library has added Blu-Ray titles to its collection, on a limited basis.
4. Magazines and newspapers. Do you like holding a newspaper in your hand? You can read from the 16 newspaper selections at various branches. Prefer magazines? Nearly 200 titles are available. Patrons can check out past issues while the current issue is only accessible in-house. The library also maintains the Naples Daily News on microfilm from 1927 to 2008.
5. Downloads. Electronic reading has become so popular that the Collier library maintains a collection of audiobooks and eBooks available for checkout. Create an account and use your library card to access the offerings and download them to your computer or portable device. Two systems are offered. You can choose checkout lengths of either 14 or 21 days. Zinio allows cardholders to access eMagazines electronically as well. Download the Zinio app for mobile access.
6. Story time. Kids love story time at the Collier libraries. There are three options for different ages: Mother Goose Time, ages
3 to 15 months; Toddler Story Time, ages 16 to 35 months; and Music and Movement, ages 3 to 5 years. A new Family Story Time recently started on Saturdays. Times vary but all are offered at the Headquarters Regional Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Registration is required except for Family Story Time. The Naples Regional Library offers Combined Story Time for all ages, and the Estates Branch Library hosts Toddler Story Time and Preschool Story Time; registration is not required at either of these libraries. Other libraries host a Walk-In Activity Time on different days.
7. Kids’ programs. Entertain the kids with fun programs at various libraries every month. Programs vary but some previous options include Pokémon Go Scavenger Hunts, Frozen Singalongs, Valentine Workshops, Penny Olympics (where children will complete penny challenges to support Presidents’ Day), and the Pups ‘n’ Books program, where kids read to a dog – or just pet one. Each summer, the library system hosts a program for kids. This year’s theme is Build A Better World, where kids will learn about architecture and about building better relationships. The East Naples Branch Library offers different science-related programs.
8. Computers. Cardholders can use the computers for surfing the Internet or for other electronic needs. Specific computers are reserved for any age, while some branches have children’s rooms where computers have access to age-appropriate online games. Even middle schoolers have a place reserved just for them (varies at each library). Plus, libraries have printers and photocopiers available for a fee.
9. Live music/performances. Adults and children alike will be entertained with live performances and musical concerts. Offerings vary each month but some previous events were An Historic 1940s Concert, featuring some of America’s greatest popular-music composers; The Cat In The Hat, where an improv troupe presented an adaptation of the classical Dr. Seuss story; and Presidents and Their First Ladies, Dramatically Speaking, which brought James Madison and his wife Dolley Todd to life. The South Regional Library also features a different artist exhibit from January to March.
10. Career center. Need help finding a new job? Then check out the Brainfuse HelpNow center. Cardholders can get employment assistance including access to national and local job search engines, help crafting and critiquing a resume, or learn proven interview techniques for professional and service-related fields. There’s help for Spanish speakers, too.
11. LEAP (library electronic assistant program). Have trouble operating that new tablet, eReader, smartphone, or computer? Knowledgeable high school students provide free tech help at seven library locations. Hours are by appointment only. Call your library for more information. The program is provided by the Friends of the Library of Collier County.
12. Book sales. At least once a year, the library hosts a book sale. If you a member of the Friends of the Library of Collier County, you have a chance for a sneak peek on the members-only preview night. The sale opens to the public the next day and runs four days. The spring sale is March 1-4 at the Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave. Preview night is February 28.
13. Genealogy research. The Naples Regional Library has a Genealogy Room, which houses basic and intermediate resources, including books and periodicals.
Plus, cardholders also have free access to websites such as Ancestry.com and AmericanAncestors.org as well as local and national genealogy sites through library computers. Volunteers can help if you need assistance starting your genealogy search.
14. Mail-a-book. Collier County residents who are physically unable to come to the library can take part in the Mail-A-Book program. If you are homebound due to a disability, you may request items by phone, mail, or email, and those library materials will be mailed in a special bag to your home. You also can get large print books and audiobooks. Patrons may return the items by mail.
15. Learn a language with Mango. Cardholders can set up an online account to learn 72 languages and take specialty courses. There’s an app for mobile devices.
16. Homework help for kids. In Brainfuse (see number 10), kids can access live tutors in math, science, reading, writing, and history, as well as for help with GED and college placement tests. In the 24-Hour Writing Lab, students can submit essays for feedback. Or submit a homework-related question for expert guidance. There is also a multitude of offerings for elementary, middle, and high schoolers. Visit Collierlibrary.org/backtoschool.
17. STEAM. The library hosts programs related to the public-school system’s STEAM program, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Various STEAM programs held at different branches have featured robots, Ozobots, snap circuits, Lego, and more. Keep an eye out for these programs in the months to come.
18. Downloadable academic books. Cardholders can download and access eBooks. Conduct a search to see available options or narrow your findings for a more specific search. The database aids in prepping those research papers required for a high school or college course.
19. Meeting rooms. Need a place for a club meeting or to host a group? Cardholders can reserve a room online, for a fee. Or you can use one, if available, for a quiet place to study. At the South Regional Library, there is a large 330-seat meeting room you can reserve. It is equipped with a microphone, speakers, and projector.
20. Staff. Many of the library’s offerings are web-based, but if you are not sure
how to use them, the library staff will teach you. Each month, a Learn eResources @ Your Library program is hosted at the South Regional Library, the Vanderbilt Beach Branch Library, the East Naples Branch Library, and the Naples Regional Library. Bring your device and library staff will help you with all the programs and eResources above. Reservations are not required, but times vary at each location.
For more information, visit www.collierlibrary.org