Many people possess happy memories of spending time at their local library as a child—skimming through colorful bookshelves, playing with library toys, and chatting with friendly librarians. Nowadays, many have forgetten that their local library can be a valuable resource for both learning and recreation.
With the influx of eReaders and online movie streaming, many have abandoned use of their local library for the latest technology. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that the local library is a goldmine for those looking to save money, even with the latest gadgets.
Whether you’re an avid reader, a movie buff, a music fiend, or someone who likes to visit museums, your local library has the ability to save you thousands of dollars. A local library is not solely reserved for use by academics. Even if you don’t enjoy reading, there are so many other ways that your local library can benefit you and your wallet. The following article from HubPages explains ways in which you can save a lot of money by utilizing the free services from your local library.
How Much Money Can I Save With My Library Card? Easy Tips For How to Have Fun and Save Money With Help From Your Library
I am going to start by stating the obvious, you can save money by using your local library. I am hoping this is not a surprise to anyone. If it is you’ve already missed out on thousands of dollars worth of savings. You might be surprised however by just how much you can save by using the library. Sure you can go check out hat new best-seller instead of heading to Barnes & Noble and paying ten dollars for your own copy, but that is just the beginning. My estimated library use in the last year is worth approximately $2,000. Two thousand dollars. This is as a single individual, not currently in school, or otherwise using the library for extensive research projects.
10 Easy Tips for Saving Money at the Library
So how exactly did I use more than $2,000 worth of library services? Well, first there’s the more than 150 books I checked our both for my own personal reading, and for work, but books are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the library to save money. Here are a few other ways, the library can save you some cash –
(1) Use the library’s computers
(2) Access free wifi on your laptop or mobile device
(3) Take your children to story hour or another free event
(4) Read newspapers and magazines from the library instead of buying your own
(5) Borrow CDs
(6) Borrow DVDs
(7) Borrow a book on tape for your next roadtrip
(8) Learn a new money-saving skill with the help of a frugal cookbook or a DIY book
(9) Participate in a coupon exchange
And my personal favorite….(10) MUSEUM PASSES!!
Just how much can these museum passes save you? My library has passes available for free or reduced admission at 10 different museums, as well as a free parking pass for the Massachusetts state parks. A family of four who used all ten of these passes would save a total of $318! Over $300 is far from pennies for any family, and means choosing between saving vs. having fun is no longer an issue, with the library’s help you can do both! I saved my parents’ and I a collective $45 with a free pass to the Norman Rockwell museum – normally $15 per person. And this is a library in small-town USA which fights for funding, imagine how many savings options might be found in a larger urban library?
And a little bonus tip – if your local library is part of a larger regional or county library system, don’t forget to check out the museum pass offerings at other local libraries, especially ones in larger or wealthier communities, or town’s which are known to have especially good libraries!
So how much is YOUR library card worth?
What I have listed above are only the direct, easy to calculate savings results of my library use. I calculated these savings using a great calculator from the Massachusetts Library Association. Check out the link yourself to see just how much you’ve saved through library use in the last year.
And remember these are just part of your savings opportunities. You could also check out DIY books to help you with that new home project. You could help slash your grocery bill with books on frugal cooking, or home gardening, or by using one of the coupon boxes popular at many libraries. Educational programs and seminars are also offered at many libraries for little or no cost.
As you can see, your local library has many resources available at a free or discounted price. Remember, most library cards are free to obtain!
Even if you prefer your eReader to physical books, many libraries now have ebook loan programs as well. Contact your local library to find out how you can borrow ebooks directly from your eReader, free of charge. Don’t have an eReader? Your local library may also allow you to borrow one!
If your local library is a part of a larger network of public libraries, then the possibilities are nearly endless. If your local library doesn’t have a certain item, then you request it from any other library in the network, and it will be delivered directly for you to pick up to your local library. There is no longer a need to pay for movie or game rentals with access to nearly any item in the inter-library loan catalog, for free! The library should no longer be thought of as simply shelves full of books, since your local library now carries music, video games, audiobooks, toys, and much more. Plus, all renewals and requests can be made online.
Another great way to utilize your local library to its full extent is through passes. These are typically good for discounted or free entry to local museums, educational exhibits, and state parks. Now you can have a day of fun and learning with your children or friends without worrying about the cost.
Visit your local library to find out if you have the opportunity to get discounted entry to Southwick’s Zoo, simply for holding a library card. Just be sure to call ahead, because many local libraries will ask you to reserve these passes ahead of time. Now you can make trips to Southwick’s Zoo a part of your budgeted learning experience! Contact us to learn more.
We’d love to know: how do you use your local library card to its full extent?