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The Norfolk Public Library is the oldest free public library in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The library’s mission statement is to offer access to high-quality programs, events, and more. A quick glance at the library’s offerings will tell you that they are meeting that goal! With a library card from the Norfolk Public Library, you can borrow GoPro cameras, craft something special in the Maker Lab, or even publish your own book. Keep reading to find out what the Norfolk Public Library has to offer!
Borrow Amazing Science and Technology Learning Equipment Like Telescopes, GoPro Cameras, and More!
The Norfolk Public Library has an incredible selection of gear that you can borrow at no cost. Most branches have these items, but it is worth checking the availability at your favorite branch. These items are popular and are frequently checked out or on hold. Please note that you can only check one item listed below at a time, other than the I Love Virginia Parks Backpack. Each of these items is only available at the Slover and Jordan-Newby Anchor Branches, except for the backpacks and mobile hotspots. Those items are available at all branches.
I Love Virginia Parks Backpacks
If you plan on hiking Virginia in the near future, this backpack is full of gear that can help make your excursion memorable. The backpack is essentially your passport to Virginia’s parks; it contains free admission and parking passes to all of Virginia’s parks. It also contains nature guides, a Port-a-Bug field container, dip net, and magnifying glass.
ZTE Warp Connect Mobile Hotspots
Do you need a wireless connection away from home? The Norfolk Public Library offers ZTE Warp Connect Hotspots that convert your mobile data into wireless internet. Up to ten devices can connect to each hotspot. You can check out a hotspot for three weeks and renew it twice if there are no holds.
Orion StarBlast Telescope
Gaze at the stars through the powerful lens of an Orion StarBlastTelesecope. The telescope includes instructions and a smartphone adapter. You can watch a tutorial on carefully transporting the telescope here.
LimoStudio Table Top Photography Kit
The LimoStudio Table Top Photography Kit is perfect for shooting your own ad photos or art projects in perfect lighting. The kit comes with a 16 x 16 light tent that can change colors. The kit also comes with a iPhone holder as well as two adjustable lights.
CelestronTetraView Digital Microscope
Want to do your own scientific research? The CelestronTetraView Digital Microscope is exactly what you need! This high-tech microscope has an LCD touch screen and a 1600x zoom lens. The microscope also comes with a 2 gigabyte memory card which allows you to take photos of your discoveries.
GoPro Hero Kit
Create Something at the Maker Studio!
The Norfolk Public Library has recently opened an incredible Maker Studio in the Selden Market next to the Slover Branch. The Studio is open to library members, although you will need to schedule an appointment to visit by making a consultation request. Using the equipment is free, although you will need to pay for any material you use.
The Maker Studio has a large variety of equipment. You can build 3D creations with the 3D scanner and 3D printer. You can cut and engrave your work with a laser cutter. The Studio also offers sewing machines as well as soldering irons. You can even use CAD software to design everything from architectural designs to sewing patterns.
Self-Publish Your Own Book!
If you have ever considered writing your own book, now is the time! In the era of eBook publishing, anyone can write a book and share it with the world. Library members can get access to Pressbooks, which allows you to create and design your own professional-quality eBook. From there, you can share you book with readers with programs like Creator or SELF-e.
Join a Book Club at the Norfolk Public Library!
There’s no time like the present to read a new book. And by joining a book club at the Norfolk Public Library you can both read a book and discuss it with fellow library members. There are active book clubs at each branch. You can see all of the upcoming book club meetings on the library’s book club page.
If you don’t find the right book club for you, the library makes it easy to start your own! The Pretlow Anchor and Little Creek Branches offers Book Club Kits that provide ten copies of books to be discussed. The kit also contains discussion questions and the authors biography. If you want to make your book club a permanent part of the library you can register it here.
Stream or Download FREE Music, Movies, eBooks, Audiobooks, and More!
The Norfolk Public Library has an enormous digital library. The library has deals with some of the largest digital media services available to libraries. These services allow you to stream or download books, movies and more.
Biblioboard is a digital service that hosts books, documents, photos, video, and more. The service hosts media from traditional publishers as well as self publishers.
Gale Virtual Reference Library is an enormous digital collection of encylcopedias, almanacs, and reference materials. The Gale Virtual Reference Library is a great resource for anyone planning to do some research.
Hoopla is one of the largest digital media services available. Hoopla allows you to stream or download eBooks, comics and more. You can stream music, movies, and television for free any time you want. With your library card, you can check out up to 8 items at a time. After 21 days the selections are automatically removed from your system.
OverDrive has an enormous collection of digital media. You can borrow eBooks, audio books, and more. You can check out up to 8 items at once. Each of them can be kept for 21 days.
Acorn TV offers the very best of British television and film. The service is known for offering some of the best content from England including Doc Martin and Midsomer Murders. Each week, the library gives out 7-day free passes to the first 20 library members that request them.