Money Saving Tip: Utilize the Public Library

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Today I’d like to talk about something that I think too few people properly utilize: the public libraries.

Libraries are amazing. You just sign up for a free library card and instantly gain access to limitless resources.

If you don’t frequent a library currently, I recommend finding the public libraries in your area and check out what they have to offer.

Here are a few of the best things you can get through your library, for free:

Books

Well this is a given. You think libraries and the first thing you think of are endless shelves of books.

If you’re an avid reader, like I am, you can save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars each year by borrowing books from the library. I still have a pretty big collection of books at home, but if I want to try a new author or learn a new subject I borrow the book from the library and save money.

Movies

Most libraries I’ve been to have an extensive collection of DVD, VHS, and even Blu-ray. So ditch your Blockbuster or Netflix membership and just borrow films from the library.

A lot of times there’s a waiting list, so sign up for you library’s website where you should be able to put in requests online and receive notification when they’re ready to be picked up

Magazines

Most libraries have subscriptions to the magazines you normally read. You may not be able to check out the newest issues (depending on branch policy), but you can at least go and read them there.

Save yourself the subscription fees, especially if you just toss the magazines after reading them.

Music

Want to try some new music? Your library also should have a nice collection of compact discs also available for borrowing.

Downloadable Material

A nice feature that the Chicago Public Library has is a downloadable media catalog. It contains audiobooks, ebooks, video, and music, which you can download to your computer. The files are compatible with iPods and other portable media devices as well. There are limits on how long you can “check out” the material for though.

Check with your local library to see if they have similar downloadable media available.

As a kid, I remember my mom taking me to various different libraries (we moved a lot), but no matter where I am I always get that same feeling of excitement when I enter a library. There are endless possibilities of books, movies, and more to enjoy, and it’s free!


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