Looking to explore interesting places or find information about a new career? How about learning a new language or crocheting a beautiful blanket? Whatever your interests, there’s one place you can find what you need, and best of all, it’s free!
The Grosse Pointe Library system, from its Central location to its Ewald and Woods branches, has a vast collection of resources. Of course, when most people think of libraries, the first thing that comes to mind is books – those wonderful tomes that can take us out of our everyday lives and expose us to new experiences.
Historical fiction, for example, can take us back to the past while science fiction can catapult us into the future. If you’re looking to travel in person, they have you covered with their collection of travel industry guides, including Lonely Planet and Fodor’s, as well as travel videos. And, to help you prepare for your trip and be ready to converse when you are there, sign up to learn a language through Mango.
With many people changing or losing jobs in the last couple of years, the library also provides materials to help find new ones and learn new marketable skills. If you have a library card, then you have free access to LinkedIn learning, a series of courses published by LinkedIn for job skills. There are resources on resume writing as well, and the ability to research publicly held businesses and companies, which can help job applicants prepare for interviews.
Niche Academy has tutorials on just about every topic, and other tutoring subscriptions include Brainfuse and BrainHQ, online databases with everything from how to fix your car to investing in stocks. A database called CreativeBug has books and video classes taught by designers who can assist with learning how to paint and do other arts and crafts, whether just for enjoyment or to earn money.
You can also spend time delving into your family’s genealogy with MyHeritage and Ancestry.com or look up historical facts and figures through Local History Archives.
"I think everyone knows the Grosse Pointe Library is a great community resource, from books in any format to movies to research assistance to classes and lectures to internet access and even tools to help around the house,” says board member, Prudence Cole.
“But what I think is even more important is that it helps to make the community we all enjoy living in. It can be a quiet place where you can relax and read or a gathering place for students to study or where moms can have playtime with their children.”
Children can enjoy story times and other youth-oriented programs that are fun and educational. Parents can pick up story kits for young kids that include picture books, toys, and/or puppets that go along with the story.
Of course, the library continues to offer magazines, newspapers, and audiobooks on CD. Movies can also be downloaded free at home from Hoopla and Kanopy.
To enhance patrons' enjoyment even more, renovations have been underway at all three branches. “There are two phases to the improvements,” says Mary Short, marketing and programming coordinator. “Phase one is completed and now we’re in phase two.” Renovations at the Ewald branch in Grosse Pointe Park are complete, while the Woods and Central branches are currently being renovated.
Ewald now has a refreshed look that includes new lighting and furnishings, plus a new lounge area with a living wall. The Woods branch is getting an improved and enhanced outdoor courtyard, lounge space with an area for the Friends of the Library book sales, and much more, while the Central branch is building a new outdoor plaza with an ADA-compliant ramp, multiple safety measures, and a drive-through window, to name just a few.
The Ewald and Woods branches are open and the Central Branch is scheduled to reopen in September of 2023. “In the meantime, we opened a Central Annex at 120 Kercheval on The Hill (across from the Bronze Door),” says Mary. “There are also drive-up drop boxes to return your library materials in the parking lots of the Grosse Pointe Park, Shores, and Woods city offices.”
The nonprofit Grosse Pointe Library Foundation (GPLF) is also dedicated to elevating the services of the Grosse Pointe Public Library system as well as ensuring its financial stability. Gifts made by generous donors to the organization have supported many programs, enhancements, and additions, including the restoration of the world-class art housed at the Central branch, the purchasing of a van to deliver books between branches and schools, and a second entryway at Woods branch.
“This year, the GPLF is raising funds to support the expansion of the youth space at Central Branch,” says its Director, Paige Domzalski. “You can support your amazing library system by reaching out to the GPLF at gplf.org, firstname.lastname@example.org , or 313.640.4683, by giving a donation, or by joining other community members at the annual Masquerade for the Stacks fundraising gala at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House on October 6.”
Take advantage of all the library has to offer, and start exploring today!