Omaha Public Library (OPL) takes the 2017 Summer Reading Program theme "Build a Better World" seriously! OPL has an abundance of resources available to educate and entertain anyone, as well as a 10-hour reading challenge, which you can sign up for here.
Did you know that in addition to books, OPL has a Toy Library? Some toys are perfectly suited to help your little one get started building, like the Basic Builder Set (ages 3-5) or classic set of Building Blocks. If you're looking for something more challenging, try the Hexactly block set (ages 3-8).
Some toys are great for raising your child's global awareness, like the Countries of the World card game (ages 6+).
The kits in OPL's collection are another resource to help inspire your kids to be more civic-minded. Kits are subject specific with topics like Health & Safety, Earth & Environment and Cultures of the World. Filled with books, activities and other items related to each topic, kits are a great way to engage inquisitive young minds.
Common Soil Seed Library
OPL's Common Soil Seed Library is a great and totally free resource for all OPL cardholders to enjoy! Request seeds from the seed catalog (up to 10 packets at a time) and take them home to plant and grow! Seeds do not need to be returned, so there are no due dates and no penalties or overdue fees.
Important note: Different seeds will be available at different times due to seasonal changes times due to seasonal changes and donations, so it's worthwhile to check for new offerings at different times of the year.
Kid tip: This resource pairs nicely with the Growing Things kit!
If you're looking for some free fun on long, hot summer days, consider utilizing some of these alternative resources to emphasize the many ways that you and your kids can build a better world.
- ABCmouse.com - With 5,000+ interactive books, educational games, puzzles, and other learning activities, ABCmouse.com's award-winning online curriculum is an invaluable resource for young learners (ages 2-7+). From Age of Learning, Inc. (In-library use only)
- Explora for Students - Browse by broad topic areas or search by any topic for full text popular magazine articles, encyclopedia entries, and other resources.
- Little Pim - Mango Language's award-winning Little Pim language program for kids makes it fun and easy for children ages 6 months to 6 years to learn a second language.
- TumbleBook Library - Reading is fun with animated talking picture books, videos, puzzles and games, and language learning in Tumblebooks. To log into the app, use username omahapl and password libra. Next, enter your library card number.
- Codeacademy - Learn to code interactively for free from home! Courses cover CSS, Java, HTML, and more.
- Consumer Reports - Shop smart by comparing products on Consumer Reports! Find the latest articles, ratings, reviews, and news from one of our most popular and trusted resources.
- Gale Courses - Hundreds of engaging, instructor-led online courses focused on professional development, technology skills, and personal enrichment that are all free with your library card!
- Great Courses on DVD - Check out professor-led college courses on a wide range of topics. Further your lifelong learning goals with these 220 courses on everything from dark matter to Greek philosophy!
- Jobs and Career Accelerator - Explore careers, search for jobs, create resumes and cover letters, and prep for interviews in the LearningExpress Library Job & Career Accelerator.
- Khan Academy - Billed as a "free world-class education for anyone anywhere," Khan Academy has thousands of courses that span humanities, computer science, test prep, and more.
- LearningExpress Library/College Prep Center - Offers online practice exams various academic/professional tests including SAT, ACT, GED, GRE, GMAT, ASVAB, Civil Service, and more.
- Lynda.com - Learn software and computer skills through over 6,000 instructional videos on subjects in business, technology and creative skills, all taught by industry experts.
- Mango Languages - It's never too late to learn a new language! Mango Languages has courses on 72 different languages, with reading/writing/listening components that will help you learn whichever you choose.
As always, OPL librarians are available to answer any questions you have about all OPL resources and collections online or at your local library branch. We look forward to helping you build a better world this summer!