COLORADO SPRINGS — As inflation numbers continue to climb, the number of local library users is also increasing. While money is stretched thin, more and more people are taking advantage of free resources at libraries in the Pikes Peak Library District by using their library card.
“As inflation has increased, people have been coming here to tap into our resources for entertainment purposes, for educational purposes, and just to learn a little bit more for research purposes, because all of it is available to them with a library card,” said Denise Abbott, the director of public relations and marketing at the PPLD.
One of the areas library patrons have access to is a Makerspace at Library 21C. It’s a room with laser machines, 3D printing and other tools.
“I’m laser engraving my business company logo. So I’m pretty excited about putting that onto a leather briefcase,” said Elaine Michael, who was in the Makerspace on Thursday afternoon.
Michael got her library card earlier this year, and the room and library's others resources are helping her start her own business.
“I’m trying to accelerate regenerative agriculture, through grant writing and funding, so it's kind of a new little niche,” said Michael.
Michael has taken advantage of the business center at the library, which helps people start their own businesses and be successful. Meanwhile, she said her husband has also used the Makerspace.
“My husband took all the Makerspace woodworking classes, so he's ready to help get our home renovations going by DIY, and really what he's learned there and having access to all those tools,” said Michael.
Many people are using the free resources especially during hard times. If you need help with your resume or finding a job, there are tutors. Or if you need help learning English or getting better, there are people to help. There are also meeting rooms and conference rooms people can use throughout the day.
“If you're a person who's just entering the workforce or need to get a refresher on your resume, or are wondering what to do, we have career navigator services that will help you determine what your interests are,” said Abbott.
In the kitchen at Library 21C, you can also take cooking classes, and a food industry training course.
“It a five-week course that will teach you all the basic skills that you need to be able to enter a job, or to advance a job in a restaurant,” said Abbott.
Libraries are more than just a room full of books, as they connect communities to resources.
“It’s like the foundation. It's the glue that brings the community together,” said Abbott.
Whether it's free wifi and entertainment, like CD’s, DVD’s, gaming on an Xbox or Playstation, or getting creative with arts and crafts, a library card offers so much at your fingertips.
“I think more people need to know about their resources and work together and do creative stuff, which they can do here,” said Michael.
There is also a TV studio where people can film their own commercials or check out go pros and other camera equipment. The library also offers yoga classes and pilates classes, lawn games, and activities and children’s areas for kids.
Pikes Peak Library District has 16 library locations and a mobile library resource.
To get a library card at the Pikes Peak Library District, you must show your ID and proof of residency in El Paso County.
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