HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY)-- It's not your grandmother's library anymore. The library is more than just books and now they are seeing a significant spike in people signing up to check out something other than books. 

Recently, New York public libraries closed the books on late fees for overdue library materials. With that change, they are now seeing a wave of returns  However, I stopped by the Horseheads Library this afternoon to check out one of their workout classes.

Gone are the days when you would come to the library to have play time, or just check out a book you were interested in reading. Well, the library offers a whole lot more now.

"As we like to say this is not your grandma's library, we want it to be a fun place for people of all ages to enjoy our collections, enjoy our free wifi internet connections, as well as our public PCs, hangout, enjoy a program.

Since many COVID restrictions have been lifted, Owen Frank the Interim Director for the Chemung County Library District says more people are visiting their local library branch. He is seeing a rise in in-person live classes across many of the local libraries in the county.

"We are seeing an uptick in program attendance. Since April we've offered live in-person programs for the first time since the pandemic. So we've been able to reintroduce in-person programs which are very exciting," Frank said.

In-person programs like Tai Chi workout classes offer mediation and movement as well as increased flexibility and balance. You can now exercise your mind and body at your local library branch.

In addition to enriching our minds, we need to enrich our bodies and we need to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst all of our patrons and so this is a unique program that we can offer that allows people to learn about healthier lifestyles and ways to exercise that perhaps are less strenuous on the body," Frank said.

Chip Hollister a regular Tai Chi goer says this class is not only relaxing it's a big stress reliever. During the day he builds up a lot of tension and working out helps to release it. 

"I get there and I can notice as I'm trying to get into it and little by little by the time we do our final bow there, most of it's gone," Hollister said.

Some of the other programs the county libraries offer are storytime, art workshops, book clubs, and more. If you are interested in checking out Tai Chi Tuesday at 4:30 pm or to find out about other programs the library offers, contact your local branch.