Library Card Benefits Article

Library Card Benefits Article

You’ll never guess what membership gets you at these libraries

September is library card signup month, so to celebrate we asked a question: What is the least expected thing you get with a library card? Everybody would expect libraries to offer books, movies, and maybe some computers or other electronics available to borrow. We found some surprising examples of libraries that have some unusual things as a benefit to their library card holders.

Try a new hobby or start your own garden in Erie County, PA

Blasco Library

With a library card to this library in Erie County, Pennsylvania, you can check out a Fishing pole and a tackle box, Record music or a podcast in their studio, record videos in front of their green screen, and access over a dozen hobby starter kits, all in their library. They also turned an old set of filing cabinets into a seed bank to start your very own garden.


Free access to over 50 museums in New York City

New York City has some of the most interesting museums and cultural sites in the entire country. Want to see where millions of immigrants started their American Dream? Want to see an original Rothko or Pollock painting? For residents of New York City, a NYPL library card gets you access to a wide range of museums and cultural centers. Free museum access to places including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Staten Island Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are all part of a benefit that comes with a NYPL library card.

Note: Many cities and municipalities are adding free access to area museums with their library card, check out your local library’s benefits.

Culture Pass: Get Free Access to NYC Museums with a Library Card | The New York Public Library (


Check out a set of Binoculars in Bonner County, Idaho

East Bonner County Library and the Kaniksu Land Trust partnered up in rural Idaho to teach local kids about the natural world around them. The journey just starts with checking out a pair of binoculars with their library card. Kids can then go gather samples and bring them back to analyze under a microscope at the STEM trailer at Pine Street Woods.

Check out a VR headset from this New England library

A group of libraries in New Hampshire has about anything you could imagine that you can check out from a library. From instruments to game consoles, Exeter Library has something for almost anyone. Things like metal detectors and hiking equipment also can inspire a new hobby for a lifetime.  Other libraries in the area like Wiggin Memorial Library offer more practical things like radon detectors, Blu-ray players and motion-activated cameras for security or wildlife uses.


No matter what your patrons are looking to check out, Unique has a product that can help make your library run smoother and better. For both books and the more valuable items in your collection, the Gentle Nudge material recovery service from Unique offers an additional tool for libraries to maintain their collection. By taking over the task of material recovery, we nudge patrons in the right direction and remind them of their obligation to the library.