Let the Library Beat Your Winter Blues

Find Winter Fun At Your Public Library!

The snow. The freezing temps. The wind. We’re almost through January but with the holidays over, it’s starting to feel like winter is dragging its feet. When you need something new to do, where can you turn?

Might I suggest your public library?

Yes, yes, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. You may already know the library has books, movies, and magazines to check out and take home. But hear me out. A trip to the library could be just the thing to brighten a dark winter day.

Two armchairs in front of a blazing fireplace

There’s something deeply comforting about wandering through library shelves, knowing you can pick whatever you want without worrying about price tags. One of my favorite things about going to the library is being in the space, surrounded by ideas and allowed to rest in a place that’s new to me.

Chancing upon the newest book in a favorite series or settling into a cozy chair to page through a magazine can feel as good as a hot mug of cocoa on a cold night. When you take the time to turn a quick trip to the library into a full visit, you may be surprised how recharged you feel.

Person in winter jacket stands outside on snow. Snowshoes are strapped to their feet and they are holding snowshoe poles in each hand.

Plus, you never know what you’ll walk out with. The libraries are full of winter fun, from crafting kits to cookbooks.

Why not watch the light sparkle on a forest trail while you hike on the snowshoes you checked out? Or warm up on a cold evening by playing a board game with the family?

From puzzles to robotic kits, the libraries across Waukesha and Jefferson counties have shelves full of items to keep you busy this winter. Check with your library to see what’s available or search the online CAFÉ catalog at cafelibraries.org!

When the weather won’t let you out of the house, your library card has a magical way of getting you through the doors anyway. Digital options abound…all for free. If you’ve got your library card number handy, we’ve got entertainment options for you!

Ready to read? Thousands of ebooks and digital audiobooks are on the Libby and Hoopla apps, just waiting for you to click on them and start reading. The Flipster app has new and past issues of popular digital magazines, like People, Midwest Living, and more. Even the Libby app has magazines on it too!

The fun doesn’t stop with reading. Listen to your favorite music and watch movies or TV show episodes on Hoopla. Love nature, travel, or true crime documentaries? All libraries in the Bridges Library System now have a new streaming service called Access Video on Demand with documentaries from PBS, BBC, HBO, and more. It even has kids’ shows!

Whew, that’s a lot to keep track of. All the apps I listed above are available for free in the app store. (Access Video On Demand’s app is coming soon.) Once you download them, you only need your library card number to get started. You can also find links and information on your library’s website or at www.bridgeslibrarysystem.org/databases. Any questions? Your local librarian can connect you with anything you’d like to use. Winter won’t last forever, but while it’s here, go ahead and pull out your library card. Stream a movie, stop in for a book, chat with a librarian. You’ll start to feel that winter darkness melt away.

Written by Jill Fuller. A version of this article appeared in several local newspapers in December 2021. We are sharing those pieces here on our website a few weeks after each piece has been printed.