Local libraries can be amazing resources for saving money! And I don’t just mean checking out books about saving money, either. With the advent of the internet and mobile phones, people visit their libraries less and less—including me. But they offer quite a few ways to save money! How so?
Checking Out Entertainment—Everyone knows libraries lend books. Most libraries lend DVDs, Blu-Rays, and CDs as well. If you’re willing to wait until that movie you want to see comes out on DVD, rather than seeing it in the theater, you can save quite a bit of money! Just remember to return them in time to avoid fines. Don’t like using paper books anymore? Many libraries now lend e-books as well. Check with your local branch to see if yours does!
Entertain the Kids—Libraries often offer storytimes for children. Instead of taking your child to a play gym or class you need to pay for, if money is tight take them to library storytime! Good libraries will often have art or other activities such as puppet shows for free as well.
Museums on the Cheap—I live in a large city, so I’m not sure how many other city libraries do this. But our city library lends out limited museum passes to anyone with a library card! There is often a waitlist, but if you are flexible with the times and days you want to attend, you can score free passes to the aquarium, zoo, or other local museums—savings here can easily head into the hundreds of dollars depending on how many passes you normally would have had to buy!
Do Your Taxes At The Library—and not from a self-help book! During the first half of the year many libraries, along with other local government institutions, offer free tax help and filing services. Contact your local branch to see if you need to make an appointment and what forms and items you will need to bring with you.
What other low-cost or free services have you received from your local library?
For most of my adult life, I only utilized libraries around tax season when I needed tax documents or information. However, I rediscovered the public library as a mom. I became very familiar with the children’s board books and took my daughter to “Toddler Time” every week. Over time, I got to know the librarians and was requesting books online to pick up at my local branch every week.
The joy, adventure and discovery of reading remains the biggest thrill of visiting the library. However, over time I branched out (yes, pun intended!) when I visited the library.
First, one of the librarians told me that all of the libraries have a “friends of the library” section where they sell–uh, practically give away!–books. It’s like a mini-library. They always have children’s books (which sell for $0.25 at my branch) and they have adult classics, cookbooks, reference books, fiction, new york times best sellers. I could go on. Suffice it to say, I’m sold…I cannot go to the library without visiting that section. I’ve already bought part of my son’s birthday present from there. I got it early; I have about a month before I’ll need to have it wrapped 🙂
We have also started borrowing movies from the library too. I take my kids to go pick out a movie most weeks. Sometimes, we’ve ended up with a video with a bunch of Clifford or Angelina Ballerina episodes. They are great entertainment. But, sometimes, we pop a big bowl of popcorn and we get a movie like Cars. Even Mommy and Daddy are thrilled with the “movie night” movie! As a matter of fact, Mommy and Daddy were both holding back tears as Lightning backed up and pushed the King across the finish line! Ok, that’s a tangent. But, a good one. You can have a legitimate family movie night that is fun for all for free!
The library is not just about borrowing books anymore!
How do you utilize your local library?
If you have an Amazon Prime membership and you own a Kindle, here’s a free perk for you! The new Kindle Lending Library let’s you “borrow” electronically top selling books for free. You can download a new book every month!
This is a great deal for readers!