If you haven't noticed, a lot has changed since the days when the only things you could find in the library were grouchy old librarians and of dusty books.
Ok, there are still a lot of dusty books, but in their midst you can also find a veritable treasure trove of (free!) media entertainment. To help you navigate the Valley's literary labyrinth this summer, we hit the street to find out what three of the biggest libraries have to offer.
We present: 7 Must-Sees in Phoenix Libraries
At Burton Barr Central Library (Phoenix):
7. A Classic Movie Burton Barr offers a fairly large selection of movies that can be checked out for seven days free of charge. How do you like them apples, Netflix?
Admittedly, they might not have all the hottest titles available immediately (although you can certainly get on awaitlist for Twilight and both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), for classics and even a variety of foreign flicks you really can't complain. You can even check out up to 10 DVDs at a time, which makes that Star Wars marathon you've been trying to host all the more attainable.
6. Magazines Besides having every copy of your favorite magazine going back to like....forever, Burton Barr has stacks and stacks of magazines you never even knew you wanted to read. There are shelves of cooking magazines chock full of recipes and craft magazines to keep you busy until next year. Our favorite find? Miniature Horse World.
At Hayden Library (ASU Tempe campus):
5. Really, Really Old Books Ok, that may not sound that attractive, but wandering around Hayden library we found books that looked like they came straight off the shelf of Thomas Jefferson's personal library. For the intellectually minded, Hayden's shelves are rich with moth-eaten literary classics. We were pretty pumped to happen upon this purple leather-bound copy of The Poetical Works of Lord Byron.
4. Your Favorite Bedtime Story On the bottom floor of Hayden you'll find a small section of children's books that is guaranteed to take you on a walk down nostalgia lane. Unlike at some libraries, Hayden's collection of children's books look just the ones our parent's read to us as youngsters. We took a few minutes to revisit this timeless classic: Maurice Sendack's Where the Wild Things Are.
At Tempe Public Library:
3. Poolside Reading Plentiful and conveniently organized by genre, Tempe Public Library's paperbacks make the perfect companion for an afternoon by the pool - or if you're lucky, at the beach. They've got everything from romance to science fiction and since you can check out an amazing 50 items per card, the only thing you'll have to worry about is getting a nasty sunburn while you lay out.
2. That Book Everyone is Talking About The Bestseller Express program at Tempe Public Library is the perfect way to read this summer's hottest titles without having to spend a dime. They've got popular books like The Help on a first-come, first-served no-hold policy so that you can pick up the latest bestseller anytime you swing by. The book's all yours for seven days, with no renewals, so everyone gets a chance.
At The Greater Phoenix Digital Library (Online only):
1. eBooks Even if you're way too technologically advanced for old-fashioned ink on paper (like, I only read on my iPad, duh), the library has still got you covered. With a registered library account from most any Valley library you can download eBooks for your Kindle, laptop or even iPhone. Which is perfect because now we can finally read 50 Shades of Grey on the light rail.
For library hours and location check out the following websites:
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