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Exploring Libraries in mid-Michigan

Capital Area District Libraries
Posted at 7:12 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 10:13:30-04

LANSING, Mich. — We all know libraries are full of books and technology that you can use.

But all libraries aren't the same. Mid-Michigan has a few that you should check out.

Capital Area District Libraries
The Capital Area District Libraries has 13 locations throughout Ingham County. It's downtown Lansing branch was closed due to the pandemic but reopened its doors on June 1 and now things are back to normal for them.

"You can come in check out books, which are behind me, you can check out movies, music, you can also attend programs like storytimes, and other events as well," said Scott Duimstra, Executive Director of Capital Area District Libraries.

Downtown Lansing branch of Capital Area District Libraries
Downtown Lansing branch of Capital Area District Libraries

You can find books made into movies, books about curls and even check out some books on those currently competing in the Olympics.

You can also browse through the Library of Things where you can check out board games, dolls and even musical instruments.

But the best part is Capital Area District Libraries just went fine free.

"We looked at the study and there were about 13,000 people who were who had fines could no longer use the library, we saw this as a fairness factor. And so we went back waived all of those existing fines and going forward, we'll be fine-free, so anyone can come back and use the library," Duimstra said.

The Olympic section at Capital Area District Libraries
The Olympic section at Capital Area District Libraries

Duimstra wants everyone to know they're open and ready to be a space that everyone can use.

"When you enter the library is it's a public space. And so bring your family, bring your friends, meet here, spend time here, relax here, fill out resumes here, whatever you need to do think of the public library for that need," Duimstra said.

East Lansing Public Library
The East Lansing Public Library has all kinds of programs and different things happening both virtually and in person.

"We are so excited to be back open or normal hours for people to come in and browse and sit in the library. And we're putting our furniture back out so people can be in the library and kind of just hanging out again," said Kristin Shelley, director of East Lansing Public Library.

New section at East Lansing Public Library
New section at East Lansing Public Library

The library has a broad collection, so you can more than likely find what's trending.

"We do a lot of diversity, equity, and inclusion programming. And we are kind of midway through a diversity audit for our collection to make sure that we have representation from many, many different races and ethnic backgrounds, and gender identities. So we are really working to make our collection inclusive," Shelley said.

They also have increased their digital collections so people can have access to library books and information where ever they need. And the wi-fi is so strong you can use it while chilling in the parking lot.

They even bring the library to you with their Library On The Go van.

East Lansing Public Library's Library on the Go van
East Lansing Public Library's Library on the Go van

"We have been routinely taking it out to the retirement centers and the summer schools the summer and then stopping at various parks. On Mondays. We've gone to two different parks every Monday," Shelley said.

Little Free Libraries
And there are probably Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood. Little Free Libraries is the world's largest book-sharing movement.

We stumbled across The Little Crooked Purple Free Library in the Groesbeck neighborhood.

Jason Froebe showing off The Purple Crooked Library
Jason Froebe showing off The Purple Crooked Free Library

"The name came from, I can't make a box. I can't make a square box. So what ended up being is a little bit off-kilter. There are not many straight lines on it. And we were trying to come up with a name for it and that seemed to work really well," said owner Jason Froebe.

Froebe and his daughter built it last year and say they had books inside before it was complete.

"We haven't added any books for months, and people keep on dropping off more books to be added into it. And they also drop off DVDs and movies and so on. So we in the garage, we have bins and bins of books waiting to go into the library," Froebe said.

Getting a book out is easy. You simply just walk up, open the door and take whichever book you like.

A look inside The Little Purple Free Library
A look inside The Little Purple Free Library

"Any book you want, take them all, and you don't have to replace any of them. Nothing at all just go in and it's open every day, all night in the rain," Frobe said.

They also have a light out there so you can see in the dark.

"You don't have to wait until the store, the library hours are open. Right? The library's open, you can actually just go there anytime you want. And the fun part is, you never know what's in there," Froebe said.

MSU Libraries
Lastly on our tour we headed to the campus of Michigan State University. If you live in the state of Michigan you can get a community borrower card and can check out DVDs, CDs, and of course your favorite books from the MSU Libraries.

The Selma D. and Stanley C. Hollander MakeCentral will also be opening to the public on Aug. 16. Inside you will be able to do things like print posters, make copies, and create scans. You can also take advantage of the passport services and even take your photo inside.

3D Printing at Selma D. and Stanley C. Hollander MakeCentral
3D Printing at Selma D. and Stanley C. Hollander MakeCentral

Another cool thing about the Makerspace is that you can print and create 3D-printed objects.

They also allow people to check out equipment like digital cameras, tripods, sewing machines and 3D scanners.

MSU also has a publishing service where you can get cover and book design training and even one on one consultation. You can also print and publish paperback books like novels, recipe books, and anything that's open source.

And for all you video game lovers you will have access to some of the popular game consoles at MSU's Video Game Lab. You can jump on the Xbox360, Nintendo Wii, or PlayStation 4 Pro and play a couple of games with your friends. Reservations are required.

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Meet Tianna Jenkins

Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

Senior Multimedia Journalist