Did you know that there’s a magical place full of different worlds to explore? Some of these worlds are in the past and some are in the future. Some may even be in the here and now, just waiting to be explored.

How do you get to this magical place? Do you need fairy dust? A secret code word? A magic wand? Nope! You just need…a library card!

It’s true! Your local library is filled with exciting adventures and other worlds waiting to be explored. And guess what? They’re not all contained within books. You might be surprised to learn about all the other resources your local library has to offer.

For example, your local library probably has computers you can use to do research and surf the Internet. Most libraries also have collections of music and movies. Some libraries even have toys to check out, or special events such as story time, special classes, or visiting authors.

Your local library might also have a wealth of information about local history. From newspapers to photographs, there’s no better place to learn about the history of your area than your local library.

Many libraries also have newspapers and magazines from around the world. If you’re wondering what’s going on in New York City or Paris, your local library may be able to help you find out.

So what are you waiting for? Take some time to visit your local library and learn about all there is to discover there. And don’t worry if it seems a bit overwhelming. Your library has a tour guide — called a librarian — who’ll be glad to help you find a whole new world to explore.

A librarian will be more than happy to help you get the hang of the Dewey Decimal System, which helps librarians catalog and track all of the resources at the library. In the past, all of this information was kept on paper cards you could find in a large piece of furniture called the card catalog. Today, though, card catalogs have mostly been replaced with computer terminals that contain all of the same information electronically. Isn’t modern technology WONDERful?

24 Join the Discussion

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  1. The sad thing is, technology is ruling over, so a lot of books are being received through kindles, nooks, and all that. I think it’s a matter of time before libraries are out of existence.
    I think tomorrow’s WONDER will be about sit ups helping your concentration with homework. Just make sure you don’t too much or else you’ll be like, too tired. Not going to end well.
    Emily

    • Emily, we think you make a great point! While technology is a big part of our lives, perhaps the library will change in the future. Maybe, instead of books, there will be rows of computers, kindles to borrow and electronic book recommendations! What a cool thing to imagine! :)

      We are so glad you shared your awesome prediction with us, too… we are glad you reminded us not to do TOO many sit ups! PHEW! :)

    • Well thank you so very much, Kate! We Wonder if you enjoy visiting the library? What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? :)

  2. When I was skimming the wonders, I saw this one, and said, “Wow, that’s an unusual wonder, I better check it out”. I have a library card, but I haven’t used it for a while, because my school library doesn’t use library cards, so I haven’t been using the public library. Happy Spring Break! Well at least for me! :)

    • Hey ACT, thank you for sharing your comment- we’re so glad you visited us today! What great timing! We’re happy to hear that although you haven’t been using your library card, you’ve still been visiting your library at school! It’s a great place to WONDER! Happy Spring Break to you! :)

  3. I LOVE going to the library! It has such a quiet and peaceful atmosphere- but lately I have been very busy and hadn’t had the time to slow down and go on adventures in books. Thanks for the Wonder today, it really helped remind me about one of my most favorite places in the world! :D

    • We’re so excited to hear that today’s Wonder reminded you about such a WONDERful place, Madeline– the library! We know that in our busy lives we can forget to make time to Wonder, read and use our imaginations, so we’re happy to know that you’ll be heading back to the library soon! It’s great to know that it’s one of your favorite places! :)

  4. I can understand Emily’s prediction, and it is sad to think that technology could take the place of the libraries many of us grew up loving. But the truth is, if public libraries are providing what their community wants, then they can remain relevant and an integral part of that community.

    17 years ago, the Internet came to my public library. At that time, there were also dire predicitions that this new technology would put public libraries out of business. For our small town of 6,000 people, it did just the opposite by providing access to new technology for everyone, regardless of age, income or ethnicity.

    Information is.. well, information. Whether it’s a novel or Chilton manual, the container isn’t what’s important – that’s just a way to get information to people in the most effective manner possible. 17 years ago, it was the new Internet. Today, it also includes ebooks, tablets and more. Who knows what tomorrow will include, but I like Wonderopolis’ vision. Thanks.

    • That is a great view of technology and the library, Lisa! It will be amazing to see what the Library offers in another 17 years! What are your predictions? Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

  5. It is cool that 16.1 millon people visit libaries. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about how sit-ups can heip you with your answers.

    • Jaya, it is amazing that so many people visit the library! Are you one of those 16.1 million people visiting? Can’t wait to show you what tomorrow’s Wonder will be! :)

  6. A library is a place where you keep books. Our school library is two stories and is a place where you can have a break.

    • Alex, there are certainly a lot of books in libraries! Do you have a favorite book? We’re glad that you get to take a break in such a fun place! Thanks for WONDERing! :)

  7. In our high school library, we see many communities..
    7:00 a.m. wake-up social time / study time for over 100 students daily.
    A community of newspaper readers interested in what’s happening in our world and sports.
    After-school study time with a crew of super teachers / Saturday morning help time, too.
    Students from study hall that need the computers or want cushy chairs to read in.
    Library regulars, library workers, and eBook readers – some call the library “home away from home”.
    Teachers + students in the labs and in the stacks of books.
    Students seeking help from Library Staff on good reads and other needs.
    Professional learning and sharing in the Library Cafe.
    Lunch bunch that uses this time to hangout in the library.
    Chess players and puzzle creators–
    Book readers and book browsers–
    Recording studio enthusiasts–
    and magazine readers

    The list of communities in a library are endless. Check your local library out today!!!

    • Libraries rock, and so do you, Teacher Librarian! Thank you for highlighting some of the many communities that make the library a WONDERful place! We are thrilled to celebrate National Library Week! :)

    • Cool Romi, we are so excited that you enjoyed this Wonder! Thanks for sharing your comment and telling us what YOU discover at the library! :)

  8. I never knew that so many people visit the library each year. I think that most of them a adults because a lot of kids don’t like going to the library or reading books. I was kind of cool that there is so so MANY people who go to the library.

    -Pasit :D

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Pasit! We hope you’re explore your local library– there is so much WONDERing to do there! Adults, students, and kids of all ages can enjoy what the library has to offer! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

  9. In my school, I am a library monitor and I go to my public library every week. I LOVE to read and a big Harry Potter fan.

    • WOOHOO, we are so glad you’re a library monitor, Wonder Friend Ovi! Reading rocks, and we are always excited to explore a cool new world through the Wonder of books! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What can you discover at the library?
  • Do libraries have more than books?
  • How well do you know your local library?

Wonder Gallery

924Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to learn more about your local library? Find a friend or family member and check out (pun totally intended!) one or more of the following activities:

  • It’s time for a field trip! Grab a friend or family member and head on over to your local library. There’s no better way to discover what’s going on at your local library than to visit and see for yourself all there is to discover inside its doors! When you get to the library, find a librarian and ask for a tour. A librarian will be able to show you where to find all the different types of resources available at your local library. Ask the librarian whether your local library has a website you can use to see what materials are available. You might also be able to download some electronic resources and renew your books online. After you get the lay of the land, go exploring! Find a new book to read and check it out. If necessary, get your very own library card. If your local library has music or movies, feel free to check out these materials as well. If your local library is like most, you’re probably going to find that it has so many more neat things than you ever imagined. You might want to start a list of books and other materials you want to check out. You should also be sure to check the library’s calendar to find out about special events that may be coming up in the near future. Have fun exploring your local library with your friends and family members! Thousands of worlds are just waiting to be discovered inside the books, music, movies, and more waiting to be checked out at your local library.
  • Ask your local librarian for a short lesson on the Dewey Decimal System. Once you have the hang of it, explore the different sections to see for yourself how books are classified. Ask about the card catalog. Is there still a physical card catalog you can look through? Or is it completely digital?
  • Up for a challenge? Take what you’ve learned so far about your local library and put it to the test by going on a fun scavenger hunt at your local library. You can come up with your own list of fun things to find, or you can use the list below:
    • a book about cheese
    • a movie with five words in the title
    • a flyer about an upcoming event to be held at the library
    • a biography of Abraham Lincoln
    • a classical music CD with at least one work by Beethoven

Still Wondering

Use ReadWriteThink’s Exploring the Library activity to plan a visit to a library to discover more about this magical place.

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will have you doing sit-ups to help with your homework!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.