There’s more to the VB Public Library than just books, and it’s for everyone. Here’s a glimpse

(Southside Daily file photo)
(Southside Daily file photo)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Here’s the deal: The city’s Public Library is not only for students, but for everyone — all ages.

And there’s more than just books. There are resources and services  that will help students excel in school, and programs for those looking to learn a new skill, library officials said.

Here are some examples:

  1. Students enrolled in Virginia Beach City Public Schools automatically have a free student account with access to the VBPL’s digital library (The login is S+ the student’s ID number; and the password is the date of birth in MMDD format). Children and teens can use their student accounts to download books, use library computers and more…
  2. At the library’s School Research Resources webpage, students can find encyclopedia entries, biographies and age-appropriate reading lists.
  3. All VBPL account holders now have access to the Testing & Education Research Center. With this online tool, high school students can study for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement exams, and identify financial aid and scholarships for college. Adults can practice for their post-graduate exams and a variety of career-specific certifications. Find TERC by going to com/learnand clicking on the “Online Courses” tab.
  4. For adults who weren’t able to finish high school, VBPL offers a second chance. To be eligible for Career Online High School (COHS), you must be at least 20 years old and have completed the eighth grade. The program is different than getting a GED; COHS is free, and graduates earn a high school diploma.
  5. Looking to learn a new skill to enhance your resume or just for fun? VBPL’s digital library offers free access to Rocket Languages, an online service that teaches foreign languages through interactive audio. You can also take an online Universal Classon topics ranging from accounting to psychology, or brush up on everything from computing to photography by watching instructional videos on com (soon to become LinkedIn Learning).

VBPL also offers about 8,000 in-person programs each year, including early literacy storytimes for ages 6 months to 5 years, after-school and weekend activities for kids and teens, and a variety of options for adults of all ages. Click here to find a program near you.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.