Libraries now offering much more than just good books

SHELBURNE, Vt. (WCAX) – When was the last time you visited your local library? If it’s been a while, you might be surprised to learn that many libraries aren’t just for books anymore.

Inside the Pierson Library in Shelburne, it’s a busy week for books.

“Our busiest times tend to be the breaks and the entire summer break, as well,” said Kevin Unrath, the director of the Pierson Library.

But it’s no longer just a place for publications.

“We think of ourselves as much of a community center as much of a place that has books,” Unrath said.

They offer movie rentals, conference rooms, and even places to get some work done.

“I rotate between here and a couple of different coffee shops,” said Amity Femia of Burlington.

We even spotted Shelburne Town Manager Lee Krohn checking out some books.

“It’s become a wonderful community gathering place,” Krohn said.

Over at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, more people are taking advantage of the space, including Don Macdonald who was reading the paper.

“It is a place where you can converse with the people and events that go on,” said Macdonald of Burlington.

Genay Cohen of South Burlington brought her friend’s daughter for the afternoon.

“It’s warm, it’s kid activities, she can kind of take a pause and be herself for a few minutes,” Cohen said.

Officials say at this library, this is the slow time for them.

“It’s a little quieter on the holidays just because the folks are away and the students have gone home,” said Emer Feeney of the Fletcher Free Library.

But busy or slow, these libraries are open with you in mind and most of their offerings are free.

“For many people, the library is that other place where they can go, where they don’t have to spend money but they can be here for hours, so it’s really welcoming and a wonderful place to be,” Feeney said.

Check your local library to see if you are eligible for a library card.

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