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Your guide to the best East Lansing-area public libraries

September 27, 2022
The East Lansing Public Library on July 7, 2022.
The East Lansing Public Library on July 7, 2022. —
Photo by Sheldon Krause | The State News

Public libraries are a vital component of any community, offering a variety of services to the public beyond just lending out books.

In the 13 square miles of East Lansing, there are four libraries readily available. From home improvement tools to job searching and tutoring, this area's public libraries have you covered.

Here’s just a glance at some of the best libraries in the area.

East Lansing Public Library

Students at Michigan State University and Lansing Community College, after a quick student ID verification, can receive a free library card at the East Lansing Public Library, giving them access to a plethora of services.

The East Lansing Public Library also has group and community events, including numerous book clubs and event nights where kids and adults can spend time with experts learning a new craft or improving a pre-existing one.

The East Lansing Public Library will be hosting its annual event, East Lansing Welcomes the World, on Sept. 30, where free food, live music and family-friendly activities are available for people in the community.

In addition, the library's Maker Studio is home to all sorts of crafting technology including a 3D printer, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and sewing machines available for people of all ages. After patrons complete a usage form and consult with the library's STEAM education specialist, the printing services can be used.

Further, the library has study rooms available for group and individual study. However, guests are encouraged to reserve a study room to ensure there’s space available.

But if studying at the library isn’t your vibe, the East Lansing Public Library has a book mailing service.

Curbside pickup is available to anyone with a library card, too.

As far as book browsing and checking out books, the East Lansing Public Library has an extensive collection of books at your request. There’s a constantly expanding collection of digital material as well, including audiobooks, ebooks, online learning resources and video streaming services.

The East Lansing Public Library can be reached at (517)-351-2420, is located at 950 Abbot Rd. and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Michigan State University

East Lansing residents can access the resources available at all nine of MSU's branch library locations – even if they aren’t students.

The biggest library in MSU’s collection is the Business Library, where individuals have access to a variety of databases to conduct company and industry research or read business articles.

The Main Library is an amalgamation of all its branch locations. From an art library to a multimedia center, the main location provides a multitude of services for both students and the public, including in-person assistance for research and referencing.

The Main Library also offers video game labs that can be reserved, with 11 consoles. Virtual reality (VR) technology is available through reservation, too.

The MakeCentral Makerspace has 3D printing, vinyl, laser cutting and a CNC router, with eight different "makestations" for projects involving button making, soldering and sewing. Appointments must be made in advance, and you can reserve a spot online or by calling the library.

If you’re part of a large group looking to reserve a space, there are multiple rooms and multimedia centers available with whiteboards and technology for presentations, some even having video game consoles and VR technology to utilize.

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Arguably the most useful service for students and other patrons is the range of printing services available, including standard printing and poster printing, along with more extensive services like bookbinding, passport printing and even book design consultation and training.

Michigan State University’s Main Library is located at 366 W Circle Dr. and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Capital Area District Library

The Capital Area District Library, or CADL, has 13 branches, not including a mobile library that travels across the greater Lansing area to provide an assortment of books, media and food packs for people who do not have access to a permanent CADL location.

The CADL serves residents in Ingham County and part of Eaton County.

The CADL's Okemos location provides individuals with a lot more than just books to check out such as board games, home improvement tools, arts and crafts tools, instruments and passes for CATA services and the Potter Park Zoo. Anyone with a library card can use these services.

Residents of the area can receive a four-year membership card, while non-residents may purchase a membership for either six months or one year. In addition, cardholders get benefits like saving money on tickets to shows at the Wharton Center and select Detroit-area venues.

Job searching and tutoring assistance are also available.

Members can also receive free services from various websites and products. For kids, ABCmouse and Great Courses are available through Kanopy. Adobe services such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro are also available on select computers in the library for anyone to use.

To find the nearest Capital Area District Library to you, visit their website. Hours vary depending on the location.


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