12 Things You Should Know About Your St. Louis Public Library

Think you know all there is about the Library? We guarantee you’ll be surprised by at least one of these facts about the St. Louis Public Library.

1.) A million of anything is great!
Every time you need a book, CD, movie or video game, the best place to check first is the catalog at slpl.org. With more than 1,400,000 items cataloged, the chances of your Library having something on the shelf, or in the stacks, whether brand new or over a century old, are far better than finding a really good parking spot at a strip mall during a Black Friday sale.

2.) You are not just a number
The Library proudly serves 85,000 cardholders at any given time…but that is only half the story. Per year, the Central Library and its 16 Branch locations throughout the City of St. Louis welcome two million visitors annually which means that approximately two out of every six people in Missouri visit a SLPL at least once every year.

3.) The Library is Not So Quiet!
Free rock concerts at the Library…really? Yes, really! Rock, Rap, Soul, Bluegrass, Country and Blues, nothing is off limits, and they all come to the beautiful Central Library to perform on the third Thursday of every month. Literally thousands of fans have come and enjoyed live music in the amazing Enterprise Rent-A-Car Auditorium, as well as on the front steps of Central, during the summer Live on Olive series. You can’t buy a ticket, you cannot make a reservation, but you can win an exclusive custom NSQ! concert shirt if you’re at the show.

4.) Don’t want to carry around a book, then just download one
SLPL has an excellent collection of downloadable materials – books, audiobooks, magazines, movies, television shows and comics – but unlike those clickbait, ad-heavy websites when we say free, we mean free! You can download our materials without worrying about having your information mined or being forced to watch commercials or advertisements.

5.) The bigger the book, the better!
Central Library has an entire department dedicated to Fine Arts. Books on world-class architecture, priceless art, fashion and photography are literally at your fingertips to explore in Central Library’s Fine Arts Room.

6.) Ancestry.com uses us!
Where do you think all these genealogical databases get their information? Central Library’s Genealogy Room is a premier source for discovering your family’s roots and far more rewarding to use than merely paying a fee and pushing a computer key.

7.) My kids aren’t big readers
Don’t sweat the small stuff – the Library regularly holds Storytime at all its locations where little ones can enjoy having a story read to them. And for the older kids, not only do we have the latest and age-appropriate graphic novels to browse, there are regularly scheduled video game days where the multi-player universe concept goes from virtual to actual reality as kids smash, grab and bash in loud and lively head-to-head competitions.

8.) I hate reading PDF docs on my phone!
If you have a SLPL card you can login to a computer at anyone of the 17 Branches and print for free. Each cardholder is given a $30 credit each month, so print away!

9.) How long is the Mississippi River? Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb? Why is the sky blue? Ask a Librarian. Before the internet made questions like these easy to answer, the Information Center at Central Library was hard at work solving such everyday mysteries for crossword wizards, trivial pursuitists, the generally curious and kids desperate for answers to their homework. Imagine calling and talking to a real person who cannot only give you a correct answer, but who will fact check it against a verified reliable source, too.

10.) Got mad skills? Bring it!
Central Library has got the goods in the form of a Recording Room in Creative Experience. ProTools and Audacity are ready and available for you to use whether you’re trying to record a scratch demo or mix your master for distribution, the hype is real and, of course, free of charge to SLPL cardholders.

11.) All I want is to have lunch and use free WiFi. Is that too much to ask?
Okay, that’s fine by us. Urban Eats Café also has branch of their casual but cool dining experience at Central Library, offering select healthy, tasty foods with an ethnic twist.

12.) Free WiFi!
All SLPL locations have free WiFi, no Library card required.