5 things to check out at the library (besides books)

Getting a library card doesn’t just guarantee you access to a bunch of great books — you can also use RPL to self-publish, search your family tree + get gardening tips.

The shelves at Belmont Library, lined with books

Access to tons of books is just the start at RPL.

Photo by RICtoday

Table of Contents

If you’re overdue on learning all the resources available at the Richmond Public Library, here are five things to check out.

First things first — you’ll need a library card. Richmonders and people who live in surrounding cities + counties (including Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hanover) can get a card for free.

🎙 Innovation and Memory Labs

The Main Branch (101 E. Franklin St.) is home to two labs with tools to create + research. Get access to Adobe Creative Cloud, 3D printing and scanning, and sewing machines at the Innovation Lab. Then, embark on an oral history project with the audio-visual tools in the Memory Lab. Pro tip: Contact a librarian before you visit so you’ll be ready to use the equipment.

📚 Self-publishing

RPL can help your words come to life in the form of a print-ready eBook. You can also submit your work to the Indie Author Project, which will share it with readers around VA.

🪴 Gardening tips

Master gardeners are always on hand via a virtual help desk on the RPL website. Whether you’re curious about native plants or understanding soil test results, the experts will help you dig into all things gardening.

The master gardeners also visit various branches for in-person help sessions. Today, they’ll be at Belmont (3100 Ellwood Ave.) from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

💸 Grants and funding

The money could be out there for your next project — and RPL can help you find it. Through the Funding Information Network, you can access print + electronic resources. Schedule an information session with a librarian.

🧩 Meeting rooms

Find a home for your nonprofit or special interest group by reserving space in a meeting or study room. Meetings must be open to the public.

Book it over to the RPL website for even more library resources.

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