Making The Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries

As we settle into 2023 we hope you’re still feeling motivated and inspired to learn new things and take up new hobbies. One of our goals is to always be providing you with the best local information to help you make the most of our dynamic Island, and we think our local Martha’s Vineyard libraries can help support continued learning and enrichment all year through. Here are some of our top tips for Making The Most of Martha’s vineyard Libraries

That’s right, our libraries. This may come as a surprise, but your local Island libraries are just the support system you need to steer you down the path to success across a wide range of initiatives. Martha’s Vineyard is lucky to have six public libraries, one located in each town. In our opinion, our libraries are one of the most underutilized resources our community has to offer. These cultural institutions are packed to the brim with books of course, but also a variety of other educational tools and helpful services, all available for free!

Making the Most of Martha's Vineyard Libraries - Tools to Help You Read More Books
Titles from local Martha’s Vineyard libraries are available on the reading app Libby.

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – Tools to Help You Read More Books

Let’s start with a goal that is obviously supported by all libraries all the time; read more books! The CLAMS network is a cooperative association between libraries on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. They share resources through an online database, accessible to all library card holders on their computers and cellphones. Members have access to over 1.6 million items including print books, ebooks, and audiobooks. That means if your town library doesn’t have it, they’ll source it for you at one of their sister libraries, giving you exponential access to new titles and old favorites. One of our tips for incorporating more reading into our busy lives is to download a new audiobook through the Libby App, a reading app connected to our local libraries that allows you to listen while working, cleaning, or exercising!

But like we said, our libraries go way beyond books, offering a wide range of other resources designed to support its community members. Let’s take a look at how the Island’s libraries can support you and your diverse goals!

Making the Most of Martha's Vineyard Libraries - The Oak Bluffs Public Library
There’s a wide range of topics and genres to explore at local Martha’s Vineyard libraries.

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The Oak Bluffs Public Library

The history of the Oak Bluffs Library can be traced back to the 1880s, but don’t be fooled by its age, the current library boasts a new campus and countless products and services to assist you in your endeavors.

If you’re all about trying something new, the Oak Bluffs library has quite a few unique options for you. With the event schedule changing every month, visitors can expect craft workshops such as painting and sewing, dance lessons, and even sign language classes!

Painting Class with the Martha's Vineyard library in Oak Bluffs
The Oak Bluffs Library hosts regular painting classes at The Barn Bowl & Bistro.
Photo courtesy Oak Bluffs Library.

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The Oak Bluffs Public Library

Looking to make new friends? The Oak Bluffs Library hosts community events for all ages. From the lego club to the weekly game nights at the Barn Bowl and Bistro, attending an event at the library may just be the perfect way to meet like-minded people on-Island.

Homebound in Oak Bluffs or have a friend who is? Oak Bluffs Library’s At Home Service is provided free of charge to Oak Bluffs residents who cannot come to the library due to illness, disability, or visual impairment. It is also available for mothers of new infants. Plus they offer members the ability to check out much more than books, including sewing machines, fishing poles, WiFi hot spots, and more to help you nurture your new hobbies at home.

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The Edgartown Public Library

Making the Most of Martha's Vineyard Libraries - The Edgartown Public Library
The Edgartown Library hosts a regular live music series on the lawn during the summer months.
Photo courtesy Edgartown Library.

The Edgartown Public Library is home to much more than books! As with all of the Island libraries, you can find story time for children and private meeting rooms, but did you know you can learn how to cook, take a yoga class, or rent a guitar?

Staying active, in whatever form that looks like for you, is a common New Year’s goal and the Edgartown library has free workout classes to keep you motivated and healthy. Take advantage of their weekly yoga and dance classes and bring a friend to keep you accountable. Explore their calendar of events for current class offerings. Be sure to check back during the summer months when they offer their Sounds Like Summer series, which brings some of the Island’s top musicians to perform on their lawn.

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The Edgartown Public Library

Looking to become a better cook this year or try out a few new recipes? The Edgartown library offers virtual cooking lessons so you can learn how to cook a new meal from the comfort of your own kitchen. Try your hand at homemade dumplings and Lo Mai Gai (sticky rice pouches), and serve your new delicious plate to your friends or family!

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The Vineyard Haven Public Library

Martha's Vineyard library in Vineyard Haven outside in the snow
The Vineyard Haven Library boasts an expansive courtyard that’s picturesque any time of year.

Located on Upper Main Street in Vineyard Haven, this town library is a treasure trove of possibilities, plus it has an adorable courtyard perfect for reading or learning something new. One of our favorite services provided by the Vineyard Haven library is their access to online newspapers. Sick of seeing those paywall pop-ups when trying to read the newspaper online? You can log into the New York Times and The Washington Post for free using your library card.

Learning a new language is a valuable skill for business, for travel, and for the sake of lifelong learning and cultural awareness! The Vineyard Haven Library provides free access to Mango, an online learning platform that helps you learn over 70 languages. Mango teaches you how to have realistic conversations through an adaptive online learning technology with listening and reading activities!

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The West Tisbury Public Library

Martha's Vineyard library in West Tisbury
The West Tisbury Public Library is located across from the historic Alley’s General Store.
Photo courtesy West Tisbury Public Library.

If you’re hoping to immerse yourself in new cultural experiences, the West Tisbury Library has discounted or even free passes to an amazing assortment of museums. If you have yet to visit the impressive Martha’s Vineyard Museum, pick up a MV Museum pass to get free admittance for two adults and four children. This museum is a must-see for anyone who lives on or visits the Vineyard, and thanks to your library you can go for free! The library also has discounted passes to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston Children’s Museum, Zoo New England, and more! Looking to travel even further? The West Tisbury library even offers passport expediting services!

We especially love visiting the West Tisbury library on the second Sunday of the month when they often host local jazz musicians for free live concerts for the community’s enjoyment. 

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The Chilmark Public Library

Martha's Vineyard library in Chilmark
The Chilmark Public Library is a tremendous resource up-Island where stores and shops are less frequent.
Photo courtesy Chilmark Library.

Now is the time to incorporate more sustainable practices into your life! The Chilmark Library offers regular programs to help you learn how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Explore their events calendar for lessons on how to mend and repair existing items in your home, regenerative gardening, beekeeping, and more!

Our up-Island visitors and residents especially love the Chilmark Library given its convenient location, and when the drive down-Island to more extensive services isn’t possible. Need to get something done for work? The Chilmark Library offers business services as well. Basic Internet, word processing, and informational databases are available, plus there is a copier and a fax machine available for public use (for an additional fee).

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries – The Aquinnah Public Library

Martha's Vineyard library in Aquinnah
The Aquinnah Library is small but mighty.

The Aquinnah Library may be small in size, but it equals the other libraries in value! What better goal for your year than to travel somewhere new? Wherever your travels take you, the Aquinnah Library can help you stay connected. Just check out a hotspot for up to two weeks and bring it along on your trip for access to unlimited data from anywhere!

The library also hosts community conversation sessions, where members get together to discuss and receive support on their parenting questions and concerns. If you’re needing a little support this year or looking to meet other parents in your community, consider attending a session.

Martha's Vineyard library in Oak Bluffs
Many of our local libraries offer meeting and conference room space including the Oak Bluffs Library seen here.

Making the Most of Martha’s Vineyard Libraries

We hope this information on the resourceful libraries of Martha’s Vineyard inspires and encourages you to pursue your goals this year. This is just a sampling of what the Island’s libraries have available to its members, so make sure you head over to your local library soon and see firsthand the wide array of offerings–tell them Point B sent you!

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