Don’t Judge A Library By Its Cover – At CADL (Capital Area District Libraries), There’s SO MUCH MORE INSIDE!


CADL Teaches, Entertains, and Enriches Both Kids and Adults of All Ages

I don’t know how I would have survived stay-at-home parenting without the Capital Area District Libraries (CADL).

When my kids were little, CADL storytimes were the promise of a weekly outing, a happy child, and an hour of adult interaction and camaraderie.

As a new mom in a new town, it was a great place to meet people and give my daughter some social interaction.


The books, music, and movies that we borrowed every week were highlights of our time at home together too, helping us bond through books or activities.

Now, 10 years later, I still rely on CADL to teach, entertain, and enrich our family of five.

Bring Home a Book, a Guitar, a Robot, or An American Girl Doll from CADL!


The libraries have books, movies, and music, but they also have SO MUCH MORE. My absolute favorite new thing they have to offer is their “Library of Things.”

Here you can check out practical, hands-on items to try out a new interest, learn a new skill, or simply feed your curiosity.

Think instruments, a metal detector, tools for your latest DIY project, a sewing machine…the list goes on and on.

Check out the full collection here.


There is also a special section just for kids: The Library of Things Jr.

This is amazing for trying those toys that your kid has been begging you to buy but you fear may lose its appeal after the novelty has worn off.

Will they still love it after a few weeks? Here’s your chance to find out.

Or maybe you have sworn off buying toys period, but still could use a few new things to keep them busy on a rainy day. And did someone say American Girl Doll?

The library offers 11 different American Girl dolls that come with the coordinating book so kids can learn about different time periods by hanging out with a different doll for a couple of weeks at a time!


There is often a wait for popular items, but to get in line you can simply place a hold online. Items can be reserved and then delivered to your local branch when ready.

We are currently waiting for our first American girl doll, and I have one extremely giddy daughter.

The Library of Things also offers passes to local attractions – like a family pass to the Potter Park Zoo!

Find Plenty To Do Indoors at CADL This Winter

Visiting each of the thirteen branches makes a great winter to-do bucket list. You’ll never get bored and your child will love the variety of toys and craft options in each different children’s area.

Indoor offerings like storytimes, lego building, movies, holiday events, Minecraft nights, craft sessions, or a new homework environment make each visit fresh and fun.


Plus, visiting each library gives a great reason to visit a new local town!

Just ask your librarian to recommend the best local eatery, cup of coffee, or nearby park, and you’ve turned your library visit into an entire day of sightseeing in a new town!

Want to know what’s going on in the next month? Week? Or, maybe you’re in the “I NEED to get out of the house RIGHT NOW or I’m going to go insane”  mode like I often am on winter days. CADL’s amazing Event Search pulls up a list with plenty to do.

The search lets you filter by age, event type, and location to pull up all the options that could fit for you!


13 CADL Locations to Check Out:

Aurelius, Dansville, Downtown Lansing, Foster, Haslett, Holt – Delhi, Leslie, Mason, Okemos, South Lansing, Stockbridge, Webberville, Williamston,  and also offered is the colorful and oh-so-recognizable Mobile Library, making stops all over town!  To find the location closest to you, visit

13 Incredible Things Your Kids Can Do With A CADL Library Card

Downtown Lansing CADL Library Kids Zen Garden

01) Learn a Language

02) Use ABCMouse and Other Educational Apps for FREE

03) Check out a Themed Backpack

(Colors, Michigan, Trains, Weather, Numbers…all the way up to 50 different themes!) filled with books, toys, music CDs and DVDs

04) Go to a playtime or storytime specific for each age.


05) Take home an American Girl Doll, Instrument, or Other New Toy

06) Head to a park for a walk outside with a Storywalk

07) Get free tutoring and homework help

08) Use a tablet to learn 


Tablets in the library are pre-loaded with only educational materials selected by librarians for learning, so parents can trust that at the library, tech time = learning time.

09) Find exactly the right book for their reading level

10) Get smarter by watching TV (with classes on Hoopla and Lynda)

11) Hang out in any of the 13 branch’s interactive and comfortable children’s play areas.


For kids a little older, parents can bring their kids to lounge and learn in this area while the caregivers go to an in-library event or program just for adults!

12) Finish an “Oh Shoot, I Forgot I have a Paper Due in the Morning!!” homework assignment any time, day or night.

Digital resources are available 24/7.

13) During the summer, earn prizes for reading with the summer reading program.

Getting a CADL Library Card is Simple and FREE

Don’t have a card? It’s so easy to get one. If you live within the service area, all you need is your photo ID and proof of address for a FREE four-year membership. You can apply for a library card in person at any branch, or online.


If you live outside of the service area, you can still get a card with a yearly non-residence fee.

CADL also has library cards specifically for kids, with a few different options. These are great for developing a sense of connection and ownership for kids, while teaching responsibility. (Make sure you put that book where you can find it again Jack – it’s on YOUR card!)

Step Into a CADL Library to Find Inspiration and Community

The library is a physical place you can go to to access resources of course, but it’s also more – it’s a gathering spot for the community. Everyone is coming to learn, create, or grow.

The mission of the CADL is to “empower our diverse communities to learn, imagine and connect.” People from all different walks of life come here to learn and exchange ideas. And for anyone who has questions, the friendly staff go out of their way to help in any way they can.

CADL Library Kids play area Downtown Lansing

It’s inspiring to walk into a space of so much growth and stimulation, and to know you are in a place with a mission to help you and everyone around you!

For information about hours, services or events, call 517-367-6300, or visit You can also find them on Facebook.

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