Like most libraries, you’ll find rows of books at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, but their resources extend far beyond the bookshelves.
“The library is about literacy and learning,” said Thad Hartman, chief of staff for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.
In part of expanding the learning opportunities, the library offers early childhood education programs.
The programs and classes are taught at the library and throughout the county on the Learn and Play Bus.
The library also partners with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to send free books to kids each month.
Families can also check out passes for the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center and the Topeka Zoo.
There are plenty of resources for adults too, according to Hartman.
In addition to the collection of books, CDs and DVDs, people can reserve meeting spaces or get a set of books for the reading clubs.
You can research family genealogy and even borrow fitness kits or cake pans.
You don’t have to step foot in the building to get access to many of the library’s resources.
“With a library card you can download ebooks, eaudiobooks, movies, music [and] magazines all free of charge,” said Hartman.
Online resources also help people learn new skills or even a new language.
According to Hartman, all of the resources are offered as part of the commitment to community.
“It’s about bettering yourself, bettering the community [and] making those connections with the community,” said Hartman. “We hope the library is doing its part to help improve the community.”