Borrow More Than Books! Website and Catalog Tip of the Week #27

Everyone knows the most frequent things borrowed from libraries all over are books. That’s what you probably immediately think of every time you even think about a library: shelf upon shelf, row upon row, of books.

And don’t we have plenty of those across all our libraries!?! (We’ve got a pretty extensive digital books collection, too.)

But there are so many other things you can do with your library card!

Borrow Seeds

Beans are seen from the Pima County Public Library 'Seed Library' at the main downtown branch on March 25, 2013. The Seed Library is a free service where patrons can check out seeds just like they would check out a book. When they have harvested the fruit or vegetable, they can return their new seeds to the library.
Seeds ripe for the planting.

Haven’t heard of the Seed Library of Pima County Public Library? Like gardening or interested in starting? Have we got a treat for you!

You can “borrow” seeds from one of our eight seed libraries across Pima County. Look through the catalog to see what kind of seeds are available—mostly heirloom seeds from local herbs, vegetables, and beans, among other plant types—and then check them out like any other item. Plant your seeds and, if you can, harvest new seeds from your growth to donate back to the seed libraries. Not sure how? Don’t worry about it. The Seed Library has all kinds of information about how to plant, grow, and save. Suitable for beginners as well as experts, the Seed Library is a local treasure-trove of information.

Read more about the Seed Library.

Enjoy a Museum or Go to a Show

Culture Pass customer
Culture Passes: Take your pick.

What do you know about our Culture Pass program? Thanks to a partnership with ActOne, local organizations have made free tickets available with your library card. Go to one of eight locations and “check out” tickets to the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tohono Chul Park, the Tucson Museum of Art, and even some locations in greater Arizona, like the Heard Museum in Phoenix, or the Arizona Challenger Space Center in Peoria.

Interested in local music and theater? You can also check out Arts Performance Passes at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library. Tickets in the past have included the Arizona Opera and the Arizona Theater Company, as well as other local and touring performance groups. Check in regularly to see what new performances—sometimes as brief as one or two shows—are available. Note: These cannot be placed on hold or sent to another library, so you’ll have to pick them up at Main Library.

Read all of the FAQs about Culture Passes.

Download Music

young woman enjoying music
Download and keep up to 5 songs a week!

When was the last time you could download music for free and keep it? Legally?

When you sign up for a Freegal account with your library card, you can download up to five songs a week for free, and they’ll stay in your music library forever. No need to download a special app—though there is one if you’d like to keep your Freegal music separately—you can just download songs directly onto your computer and import them into whichever media player you use.

Be sure to check in regularly with the Freegal blog to discover new music as it’s made available. Run out of downloads? No worries! You can stream up to three hours of music a day, too!

Read Digital Magazines

Six magazine covers
Get magazines and read them on the go with RBdigital Magazines!

It’s hard to keep up with magazines without a regular subscription, right? Well, if you are interested in any of the ones the library makes available through RBdigital Magazines for Libraries, you can browse, subscribe, and read them on any computer or device.

Read weekly and monthly magazines like People, The Examiner, or US Weekly right in your browser, or check them out and keep them forever in your app.

Learn more about RBdigital Magazines, and see what magazines are available for you to check out and keep forever.

Questions? Call Infoline at 520 791 4010, or contact Ask A Librarian!

What do you want to know? Any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments what you’d like to see in future installments!

And if you haven’t, check out our previous tips of the week!