103 Reasons to Have a Library Card

November 21, 2018 

Today is the 103rd Anniversary of our library! 

On our 100th Anniversary, Mayor Clugston signed a proclamation marking November 21st as “MHPL Day.” We’ve celebrated this day in different ways for the past 3 years – in 2015 we had a big party; 2016 we gave away a lifetime membership to the first child born (Ella Knibbs); and in 2017 we gave away a theatre package to one lucky winner and 151 of their friends in our newly renovated theatre. 

This year, we’re sharing reasons why EVERYONE in Medicine Hat should have a library card. Below are the top 103 reasons (we could have kept going, believe me). 

You might notice when looking through the list that not all of these things require you to have a library card (seeing a movie in our theatre, for instance) – but reason #1 is the reason why it’s important that you have one. Cards are FREE for children under 18 and only $5/year for adults.


1. By having a library card you help us to continue providing all the things you see listed below. Like we said above, you might not need a library card to do all of the wonderful things you like to do at the Library, but we’d sure appreciate if you got one so that we can continue to provide all those things.

2. Community Access Passes. Borrow a Community Access Pass to explore the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, Medalta, the Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre, and the Medicine Hat Family YMCA – for FREE!  

3. eBooks. For those of you who love the portability of an electronic book, we’ve got thousands of titles for you to choose from. They can even be borrowed from a handy little app known as Libby. Find your next eBook here

4. Have a library card teaches your child responsibility. Do you want your child to be responsible for their belongings and to be held accountable for their actions? Put them in charge of returning their books on time (with a little help from you, of course).  

5. Book Bundles. Our book bundles have a selection of books on the same theme for you to take home and share with your little one. 

6. TD Summer Reading Club. FREE summer programs at the Library for kids ages 7 – 12. 

7. Higher literacy rates = higher education and higher income. It’s a no-brainer. Read more and you’ll attain a higher education which may lead to a higher income. 

8. Book Club Kits. Why buy when you can borrow? We have more than 30 Book Club Kits for your book club to borrow. Each kit has 8 – 10 copies of the book.

9. Raspberry Pi Kits. Want to learn some basic coding principles? Borrow a Raspberry Pi Kit to get started.

10. Audiobooks. We have physical audiobooks as well as a big selection of eAudiobooks for you to download. In fact, 27,000+ titles were just added to RBDigital. Find you next great listen here

11. Makey Makey Kits. Makey Makey’s are simple invention kits that you can borrow to teach your children STEM principles. Borrow our kit to get started. 

12. Meet some of your favourite authors. Mark Sakamoto was here! Sharon Butala was here! Chris Turner was here! Marina Nemat was here!

13. eMagazines. Want to download 85+ of North America’s most popular magazines for free with your library card with no holds and no return dates? Head on over to RBDigital

14. Home Energy Self-Audit Toolkit. Make sure that you’re not wasting money on an inefficient home. Borrow a self-audit toolkit provided by HAT Smart. 

15. Holiday books and materials. Tis’ the season to borrow a Christmas book or movie. 

16. Hear stories from community members. We host a ton of programs that allow community members to share their stories. We also partner with the Esplanade and Medalta to present Pecha Kucha Nights regularly. Sharing stories is one of the many ways that we’re building community. 

17. Coding classes. We teach coding to all ages with classes throughout the year. In fact, we have three sessions coming up on December 5, 6 and 8.

18. Cardmaking classes. Make your own beautiful greeting cards with our cardmaking workshops. 

19. Learn how to use the Adobe Creative Suite. Gale Courses has online, instructor-led classes to teach you how to use Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, Dreamweaver, and more. Soon you’ll also be able to use one of our drop-in computers with these applications preloaded.

20. Borrow a Human! Our Human Library Collection allows you to borrow a human rather than a book. Meet with someone today! 

21. eNewspapers. Read news from around the world, online for FREE with PressReader

22. Help you spot fake news. Not everything you read on the internet is true (but this blog post is). We can help you interpret information to determine fact from fiction. 

23. Ancestry. Research your family tree with Ancestry. Free to use while inside the Library. 

24. Consumer Reports. Make informed purchase decisions this Christmas. Use your library card to receive expert buying advice from Consumer Reports

25. Language learning. Use Pronunciator to learn one of 80+ languages, online for FREE!

26. Homework help. Our newest resource, Solaro provides online study help and exam preparation tools for grades 3 – 12. All based on the Alberta curriculum! 

27. Access to other public libraries. As part of the Shortgrass Library System we are connected to 13 other public libraries in our region.

28. Interlibrary loans. Can’t find the item you’re looking for in our system of 14 libraries? We can place an interlibrary loan request to receive the item through The Alberta Library (TAL) system.  

29. Video Games! Why buy when you can borrow? Or at least: Try before you buy! We have hundreds of video games for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo DS, and others.

30. The Blockbuster Experience. Remember the nostalgia of borrowing movies from Blockbuster? You can still have that experience at your library! Except, we’ll let you borrow as many films as you want for 3-weeks and it’s included with your annual membership fee! 

31. Access to the Medicine Hat College Library. Did you know? You can select the Medicine Hat College Library as a pick-up location for your materials!

32. Teacher packs. Teachers: we make it easy for you to promote literacy in your classroom. Visit us to borrow one of our teacher packs.

33. We can connect you with social services. If you’re not sure where to look to find help in our community, we’ll assist you in the search. HelpSeeker is a great resource in our community. 

34. Books! We like to say that our Library is “more than just books.” But, let’s be real – books are our bread and butter. And we LOVE them! And we have a LOT of them. Find your next great read here.

35. Book sales! We don’t just borrow books we sell them, too! Plus, movies, music, magazines, and more. Our next sale is during Downtown Midnight Madness

36. Cookbooks. The struggle is real when it comes to finding new and inspiring recipes for dinnertime. Our collection of cookbooks will turn “meh” into “m(eh)ake that again”!

37. Graphic novels. Graphic novels can turn even the most uninterested reader into a bibliophile! 

38. Local history. Learn more about our beautiful community by researching some local history. You can access the Medicine Hat News archives here, too. 

39. Tech help. Technology giving you grief? Did someone buy you an iPad or tablet as a gift and you need help to get started? We’re here for that. Check the What’s On booklet for upcoming dates/times. 

40. Early literacy programs. Storytimes! We want you to make reading a daily priority in your household. Let us help you by telling a few of those stories. Check the Let’s Play booklet for upcoming dates/times. 

41. Crafting programs. We like to get crafty around here. We provide the supplies and the instruction – you provide the enthusiasm. If you have kiddos, join us for a fun Christmas Crafternoon on December 16th. 

42. Teen Nights! Teens get the Library all to themselves every other Friday evening for our TIC-TAC Teen Nights.

43. Tween Nights! Tweens have their own special night, too. One Monday a month we have a fun program for kids ages 10 – 12. 

44. Travelogues. We give you the chance to travel the world without ever leaving the city! Come to one of our travelogue programs to hear stories and see photos from the travels of others.

45. Tumblebooks. Check out this online collection of animated, talking picture books to teach young children the joys of reading.

46. Drop-in computers. If you don’t have your own computer at home or if it’s currently being repaired, drop-in to use ours. 

47. Computer help. We help seniors and those who are new to Canada to get started with using a computer. Check the What’s On booklet for upcoming dates/times.

48. Return dates to keep you motivated. How many of us have bought books that we still haven’t read? 

49. Movies in our theatre! Can’t afford to go to the movie theatre? Want to go more often than your budget allows? Come to FREE movies in our beautifully renovated theatre! Family-friendly flicks play every Saturday; adult films and classic movies play on Thursday’s. Check the Movie Time booklet for upcoming dates/times. 

50. Minecraft! We play Minecraft with ages 7 – 9. Check the Let’s Play booklet for upcoming dates/times.  

51. Reading gives you empathy. Researchers at The New School in New York City found evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. We could all use a little more empathy! 

52. Learning opportunities. Never stop learning! Ask questions! Be inquisitive! Borrow books or take online courses to learn more about yourself and the world.

53. Music. Mmmbop… We have CD’s for you to borrow.

54. Printing. Printer broken? Don’t have one at home? Ran out of ink and are too lazy to go to the store? (story of my life!) We got you. 

55. Faxing. Yeah, that still happens. We’ll use our facsimile machine to send your stuff.

56. Reference/research help. When Google isn’t coming through or you just can’t find the data to back up your hypothesis, ask us. 

57. Alberta Heritage Digitization Project. Free, online cultural and heritage materials here

58. Large print and accessible formats. If you’re straining to see normal print books, browse our Large Print Collection. If you’re unable to see well enough to read print, we have Daisy Books (similar to audiobooks) that we’ll lend you. Contact us if you need accessible formats. 

59. Speaking of accessibility: The Library Theatre is for everyone! Our newly renovated theatre is accessible to those in wheelchairs/walkers. We also installed a state-of-the-art Hearing Loop that can be wirelessly connected to by those using T-Coil enabled hearing aids. 

60. Legal Help. Have a legal pondering? Visit LawCentral Alberta to get the information you need. 

61. Read Alberta eBooks. We have over 1,100 award-winning Alberta eBooks. Read local! 

62. Learn to play guitar. Take the Introduction to Guitar class online with Gale Courses and then join us at our Music Circle to jam with other music lovers. 

63. Reading brings joy. Simple as that. 

64. Explore new people and places. Reading gives you the chance to escape to new worlds, to meet new and interesting people in places you never imagined before. 

65. Reading helps you de-stress. Nothing is better after a long week than curling up with a good book. 

66. Board games. We have board game events all the time. In fact, on December 8th we’re partnering with the Medicine Hat Board Game Guy to host a Ticket to Ride Tournament

67. Beautiful view! Our view of the South Saskatchewan River and Finlay Bridge is hard to beat. 

68. Dominate at your next trivia night. Reading will give you the knowledge you need to win at every trivia night. Just don’t be pretentious about it. 

69. Homebound services. We have amazing volunteers who deliver books and read to our patrons who can’t visit due to mobility challenges. Sign-up for this service or become a volunteer here

70. Cardmaking kits. Borrow a card kit and make your own beautiful greeting cards at home. 

71. Meeting room rentals. Rent one of our rooms for your next business meeting, book club, or birthday party.

72. Become a better employee. Gale Courses has all the courses that you need to succeed and to show your employer that you’re committed to continuing education.

73. Resume help. We can help you write a resume that will get you hired!

74. Play! We’re more than just books! We have toys and blocks for your little one to play with.  

75. Improve your writing skills. We have books and Gale Courses to help you take your writing game to the next level.

76. Join a book club. We have two book clubs for anyone to join: Medicine for the Soul and The Good Life: A Political Book Club

77. Speak in your native tongue. If you’re a French, Spanish, or German speaker, join our conversation groups to converse with others. 

78. Admire local art. We have a new art exhibit hanging on the walls of the lower level every month! 

79. Sing! We have Musical Mondays for the adults and coming up soon is a Christmas Sing Along for children led by the effervescent Andrew. 

80. Learn sign language. Become a better communicator by taking the sign language course on Gale Courses.

81. Help to fill out forms. We can help you to fill out forms for government assistance and other needs – because it can be complicated!  

82. Be an informed voter. We'll help you to cast an informed vote. Political debates and forums are held in our theatre during elections, and we also recently started a political book club that is open to everyone. 

83. Free internet. We have wi-fi. We let you use it for free.

84. Meet new people! The Library is a safe space which is open to anyone and everyone. You might meet someone new next time you’re here. Maybe you’ll meet someone who isn’t like you. 

85. Reading helps memory. We recently had a patron come to sign-up for a library card because his doctor prescribed it! True story: Reading improves your memory and cognition. 

86. Become a better public speaker. If you’re nervous in front of a crowd, take the public speaking course on Gale Courses. Then come and practice your new public speaking skills by presenting a program! 

87. Sometimes you can have coffee with cats! We’ve planned three Cat Café’s in the past three years. All of which have been purrfectly successful. 

88. Become the best version of yourself. We have books that will lead you to success and Gale Courses that focus on personal development. 

89. Improve your relationships. Not only does reading make you more empathetic, we also have books that specifically help you to improve your relationships. Gale Courses has some classes that can help, too. 

90. Learn to use your iPad or tablet. We can help you to get started with your new tech. Check the What’s On booklet for upcoming dates/times.

91. We have physical literacy programs, too. We’ve had kids yoga, urban poling, tai chi, and more. 

92. Knitting. Knitting doesn’t have to be a solitary activity! Join your knitting peers every Tuesday afternoon or every other Thursday evening.

93. Become a better photographer. There’s a Gale Course for that.

94. Learn to draw. Yup, there’s a Gale Course for that. 

95. Teachers: Get classroom support. Not only do we have teacher packs for you to borrow, we also have online resources through Gale Courses that will help you to deal with some of the problems you face in the classroom. 

96. Stamps on hands! If you have a child, you’ve probably already seen the joy that comes from getting a simple stamp. It’s heartwarming. 

97. Sensory screenings. We show movies for children who have sensory processing disorders like autism. The lights are raised, the sound is lowered, and the audience is understanding in the event that a child becomes disruptive. Check the Movie Time booklet for upcoming dates/times. 

98.  Regular readers do better in school. It’s a fact.

99.  Quiet study space. Too many distractions at home? Visit the Library to find a quiet space.

100.  Representation. We have books with characters who look like you.

101.  Beat the heat or stay warm. Our building is temperature controlled. Thumbs-up for that! 

102. SAVE MONEY! Why buy when you can borrow?

103. Because libraries are important and we need to support them. Libraries are social equalizers: Everyone is welcome regardless of income, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. We build community by sharing experiences and stories and by allowing different groups – who might not interact outside of here – to learn from one another. We also enhance literacy in our community by sharing our resources with you. 


There's something here for everyone. Please visit the Library to sign-up for your library card today. 

You can Start a Free Trial here or Renew Your Card here