Chicago's libraries generally are places where there's something for everyone – you just need to know where to look.
The Chicago Public Library is a great place to start. In fact, I suggest that the local library should be your first stop for books and DVDs for entertainment and education. But there's more. The Chicago Public Library encourages lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology. Among their offerings are various FREE public programs.
My favorite library is the Schaumburg Public Library. It's a huge regional resource for business. It has a great reference department and an outstanding Audio-Visual department. And, best of all free parking allows you to spend a day doing research without worrying about time limits. It's was one of the first I found that offered a coffee shop where you could get a drink or a snack when needed.
The Oak Park Public Library is another good library, though not my first choice. It, too, has a nice Audio-Visual collection, the building is fairly new and boasts an indoor parking area which is frequently full but allows you to spend up to two hours selecting items you want to take home. This library, being my home library, is good for checking out books I might want to renew. It's easy to do that online. The time restriction on free parking makes this a less desirable place to consider research making his a place to go when you're looking for a quick fix.
This Chicago Library is much like the above two libraries, with branches throughout the city. It has been focusing on public programs of all kinds that are open to the public Among its recent seminars, workshops and lectures include programs on finance, law, programs highlighting authors, flamenco dancers and more.
Actually these libraries all have been doing a number of free programs designed to delight their patrons and often rent rooms to patrons for meetings and special programs.
If you are looking for intellectual and community stimulation, the libraries can be a good place to start. You may be surprised at how well the libraries will feed your need for adult continuing education and socialization.