Friday Frugal Tips – Libraries are not just for Nerds

by Staff Writer on April 27, 2012

Libraries are the coolest; and everybody should be using them these days.

As a matter of fact, I’ve been to the library twice in the past 2 days. It’s a quiet place to work, free fast internet, tons of movies and music to check out, amazing programs for the kids, oh, and they have books too.

Out local library even has adult education and assistance classes.

My local “knowledge hole” is packed with people throughout the week, which is surprising because the weather is getting so nice here.

I would think that more people would be spending their time outside, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. I can only surmise that the library must be for the “Cool” people. Maybe not, but it makes me think about why the library is receiving so much traffic.

Why do people continue to visit their local libraries when so much information is available online?

Books

Of course everyone knows that the library is known for books. Many libraries offer an exchange system that allows members to request books from other libraries. If one library is out of a certain book, another one will have it.

Today’s libraries are ordering a ton of new books; most of the titles you see at the book store are on the shelves at the local library. These books are free, provided you return them on time. Take a look at this post from MyNextBuck.com to see what can happen if you do not return the books on time.

Audio Books, DVDs, and Music

I love books on tape. I’m able to finish a complete book in one week of driving to work and one weekend of delivering pizzas.

I enjoy music once in a while, but it can get extremely boring. I usually have 3 or 4 physical books that I read at any one time, and listening to an additional one is a nice break for my eyes.

Libraries have come a long way in the selection of audio books they offer. I just finished Thomas Stanley’s Stop Acting Rich which is a great book and one I would have normally purchased. The library saved me $20 by having it on the self.

My library also has a Value Calculator that you can use to see how much value you are getting from the library.

You can even check out DVD movies. Dramas, Comedies, Action, Horror, Family and Kids, even TV shows. Amazing!

Kids Stuff

We currently have 23 kid’s books checked out from the library. My kids love books, but usually get sick of them at the 2 week point. This is perfect because we can rotate the books through our home for free by using the library, saving even more money and shelf space.

Most libraries also have programs or story times for kids. It’s a great time to introduce children to new books and they get some social interaction. Just make sure to bring your hand sanitizer.

Magazines and More

I can’t help but think of Seinfeld every time I see a newspaper at a library. Another great advantage of the library is all the magazines they have.

The cost of magazines can really add up and having a free option is awesome. My library provides many databases to use to locate articles from any magazine you can think of. They also offer several other databases that can be searched for almost anything.

If you are a blogger, these provide a wonderful resource to help research topics. If you have kids in school, the databases are easy to use to help Junior with those science projects and book reports.

Check out some of the databases my library offers. These are available at the library or from home using your library card.

Free Admission

A while back a DeliverAwayDebt reader commented that her library had museum passes that could be checked out and used by members. I’ve checked into mine, and they offer the same thing. I’m amazed at the amount of places that can be visited for FREE with the pass.

Our pass is called the Detroit Adventure Pass and is sponsored by Macy’s. I will be using the pass in the future and of course I’ll include my adventures in a future post. Thanks to Mysti from Digging Out From Our Mess for providing the idea.

Savings

Now it’s your turn. Hop, skip, and jump over to your library’s website and see all they have to offer. All the cool kids are doing it :-)

And the nerds.