1. Most public libraries have storytimes for children. We have put many of them on our events calendar because letting someone else read to your child is a good excuse to get out of the house. Most include songs, fingerplay, and sometimes puppets. Ok, you already knew this? How about…
2. Children can get their own library cards. In Berkeley, children's materials checked out on any card will not be assigned overdue fines. Parents will receive email reminders when materials are due. (Videos will be fined.)
3. Some libraries have book club kits. A tupperware container with 8 copies of the same book and a reading guide can be checked out from the North Berkeley library. (Search “book club to go” in the online catalog to see the selection.)
4. The downtown Berkeley library is a fun outing. The elevator features wheelchair-friendly buttons to push with your foot. Take the lift upstairs to find the children's area. There you'll find a rocket to climb on. On the weekends, free performances may take place in the stacks area.
5. You can borrow membership cards to museums. Discover and Go passes can be reserved and printed from your own home, without a library visit.
Bonus tip for parents who love to read: Check out books on your Kindle or any e-book reader. There is often a wait for digital copies of the book, but you can get on the waitlist to receive an email when it's your turn to “borrow” the e-book. While it's sort of a hassle to figure this connection out, it's worth the effort. Once you've got the system set up, free books!