The library is a wonderful resource for bookworms, and we have our own on-site library for residents of our community. But did you know the local Sun City branch of the Maricopa County library has much more than books to offer? Check out these seven ways you can make the most of our local public library, which is less than 10 minutes from Sun Valley Lodge in Sun City, Arizona.
The library is a great place to meet new friends and build relationships over shared interests. There are monthly and weekly book clubs that meet to discuss the latest bestsellers, and several have a specific focus, such as the Mystery Book Club and the Murder and Mayhem Book Club. Keep an eye on the activities and events calendar to find out about special events and other groups you may be interested in.
If you're not sure how to install a new app or want to change your ringtone to something that's easier for you to hear, you can get help at the library. Every Wednesday, the library runs the Apple iPhone Help Table, which is available for anyone who needs help doing something with their iPhone. Android users can talk to the library staff about options for their devices as well. The library also allows you to check out a laptop for up to 3 weeks at a time.
If you're looking for an opportunity to be more involved, joining the Friends of the Library as a volunteer is a great opportunity to give back to the community and meet like-minded people. There are multiple volunteer roles as well as events and meetings to take part in, and this group also runs a bookstore to raise money for the library by selling books donated by library patrons. If you're interested in joining the Friends of the Library, talk to one of the librarians today about how to get started.
At the Sun City branch, you can check out various seeds to use in your own garden. Grab a few packs of different herb seeds to grow your own windowsill herb garden in your assisted living apartment. You can check out up to three kinds of seeds per month, so there's plenty of room for variety or growing seasonal herbs, such as basil and mint in the summer. You could even get a few neighbors to come together so everyone can check out different options and plant a community herb garden.
If you've always wanted to learn an instrument, you can check out a ukulele for free from the library for 3 weeks. If you find you enjoy it, you can check it out more than once, depending on availability. Ask a librarian about books or other resources that can help you learn to play.
You may remember your children or grandchildren having fun with the library's summer reading challenge and reading books to get prizes, but did you know the Sun City library has a summer reading challenge program for all ages? Adults can participate as well, and reading as little as 15 minutes per day can help you access prizes. Basic prizes include a free drink, but higher-level prizes in previous years have included a free Arizona State Parks Pass and a free book. These programs usually start in late May or early June and run through August or September, so ask a librarian when you need to sign up. There's also a winter challenge!
Whether you're researching a specific topic or want to learn how to download library books to an e-reader like a Kindle, sometimes you just need to talk directly with a librarian. The Sun City library offers a 1-on-1 phone call service so you can chat with a librarian about your needs and get targeted, professional help on your project. Appointments run Monday through Friday and are available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you love science and would like a way to participate in the local scientific community, check out one of the Citizen Science kits available at the library. You can take an air quality monitor around with you on your daily walk or measure light pollution while you're stargazing. There's also a kit that lets you identify local plants, animals and other wildlife around your community. Consider bringing the grandkids along for one of these expeditions for an activity that gets you moving and involved in the world around us.