It’s summertime! And chances are “sign-up for summer reading” is on your family’s bucket list. But did you know that there are items besides books and multimedia that you can check out from your local library? 

Yes! Both Baltimore County Public Library and Enoch Pratt Free Library offer a library of things that patrons can borrow. That library card of yours might just be a ticket to summer adventures that you didn’t know you had!

Here are a few ‘things’ that our local libraries are lending and they just might surprise you…

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Borrow From the Library

Mobile Hotspots

Mobile hotspots are available to borrow from the Pratt Library AND Baltimore County Public Library, allowing you to connect to your devices with access to free Wi-Fi. This is a great option if you’re headed on a trip; just be sure to keep track of them! Patrons must be 13 years of age or older to borrow hot spots from Pratt Library. HotSpots are available for checkout by adults only from Baltimore County Public Library and can be requested to be picked up at the branch most convenient for you.

Telescopes

Planning a stargazing adventure? Borrow a telescope from either BCPL or Enoch Pratt and get a closer look at the cosmos! Each kit contains a moon map, star finder and other tools that will enhance your night sky experience. Kits are available for checkout by teens (ages 10-19) and Enoch Pratt and only by adults at BCPL.

Board Games

Baltimore County Public Library has more than 30 board games available for borrowing. Take your family game night to the next level without cluttering your closet with one more game (that your kids may or may not love). There are games for all ages and abilities.

Gaming System

We bet you had no idea that Enoch Pratt has Nintendo Switch Lites available to borrow — a long with a collection of games? The gaming systems are available to borrow through their Teen Library of Things, so patrons must be between the ages of 10 and 19 to borrow (sorry parents). Great way to try before you buy if you’ve been thinking of getting your child one!

Fishing Poles

If part of your summer plans include fishing, you can borrow poles from BCPL’s North Point Branch. (Again, adults only can borrow them!) The only catch is that poles may not be returned in the book drop, left outside the library or returned to other branches. Poles come with 1 bobber, 2 silver weights, 2 hooks, and swivels.

Adventure Backpacks

Make your next park or trail excursion a real adventure and borrow a BCPL adventure backpack!  The backpack activity kits provide families with tools they can use as they have fun exploring nature together. Use it to explore Maryland state parks, community parks, or your own backyard. Encourages children to learn about Maryland wildlife, respect natural habitats, and enjoy the outdoors. 

Bike Pumps and Repair Kits

If your tween or teen wants to hit a bike trail for a long ride, borrow a bike pump or repair kit from Enoch Pratt Library before you go. This is part of their Teen Library of Things, so patrons must be between 10 and 19 to borrow it.

Coding Robots

Older kids can spend a rainy summer afternoon learning to code with one of Enoch Pratt Library’s Cue Coding Robots. Robots due require a smart device, computer, or Kindle Fire to operate. Available as part of Enoch Pratt’s Teen Library of Things.

Engravers

Yes, you read that right. If you want to host your own episode of “Making It,” you can get crafty and DIY with a borrowed electric  engraver from BCPL. As you can imagine, adults only can borrow the tool.

Looms

We’ll just weave this one right here. We know that kids — and adults — love the meditative art of weaving. Littles wound-up? Give them some ribbon/yarn and a loom and watch the magic happen. Looms are available from BCPL branches and Enoch Pratt offers knitting loom sets for teens to borrow.