The image of dusty stacks and somber scholarship doesn’t quite fit what’s happening in many libraries these days.

Libraries still lend books and provide Internet access, of course, but many also are tapping into the latest technologies and exercise crazes.

In California, librarian Jessica Zaker leads a punk rock aerobics class at her Sacramento public library branch. Elsewhere in the building, her colleague Lori Easterwood runs a program showing patrons how to bring designs they’ve made on computers to life with state-of-the-art 3-D printers.

Troy University in Alabama installed exercise bikes with laptop tables in its library so students can get get their bodies moving along with their minds.

Libraries also can play important roles as community centers, where groups can gather for children’s programs, English-language learning and community organizing.

A Wisconsin entrepreneur started the Little Free Library movement, which has put 6,000 “take a book, leave a book” boxes in communities in all 50 states and 40 countries besides.

The U.S is home to more public libraries than McDonald’s restaurants. Outside the U.S., library-like environments are available in more than 700 locations across 152 countries in American Spaces. Visitors there can learn about the U.S., practice English and get information about studying in the U.S.

The common thread in these and the more familiar versions of the library is engaging and enriching a community. Could be you’re long overdue to check one out.