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Check it Out: Libraryholds items for all

My dad has often said, "Some of the best things in life are free." I think this morsel of wisdom holds true when I look at our public library and everything it offers to the people in Park Rapids and the surrounding communities.

It isn't really free to run a library. It takes the financial support of our city, county and townships. With their help, we are able to offer quality materials, service and programming to the public absolutely free.

If you haven't been to the library lately, you may be surprised by how much more we offer than books. Books, of course, are plentiful, and we are constantly updating our collection in order to provide something to match every reading level and a variety of interests.

We also have audio books in four formats (cassettes, CDs, mp3 - CDs, and Playaways - a handy little audio book and mp3 player in one). Besides that, we have movies - children's, adults', old, new, television series and documentaries. We also have an extensive music collection, including lullabies, children's songs, classical, country, choral, instrumental, pop and rock.

All these are yours (for a limited time) with simply the scan of a card (which, by the way, is also free).

Our library has computers for public use and we provide Internet service, including wireless for those who prefer to bring their own laptop.

Our website,, provides access to our catalog, and information about events in all the branches in the Kitchigami system. It also has several databases with information ranging from ancestry to auto repair, to stocks and mutual funds.

There's a story time each week (Friday at 10:30 a.m.) with stories and projects for preschoolers and their parents, grandparents and childcare providers.

Volunteers lead a computer class for senior citizens once a month.

We have a winter reading program for adults and a summer reading program for kids. The Friends of the Library and generous area businesses donate funds and prizes.

For the past couple years, we have had the opportunity to provide countless arts and cultural events thanks to the funds from the Legacy Amendment. Our library has hosted authors, musicians, storytellers and other relevant artists.

There's always something happening at the Park Rapids Area Library - where some of the best things in life really are free. You'll be doing yourself a favor if you come and check it out!

The library's recently revised hours are:

n Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

n Wednesday 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

n Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and

n Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.