Growing up, my family went to the library a lot. We would check out books and movies by the bagful. In grade school we participated in summer reading programs, in high school a group of us met at the library once a week to study and work on our pre-calculus homework, and I remember my younger sisters one time were in a small play at one of the library branches. It was all kids, with the help of the library staff, and they made the sets and decorations, learned their lines, and had a really good time with the whole thing.
When I got older I realized that a lot of people didn’t really know much about the library, and they certainly didn’t use it. It was a real eye-opener to me. I was so used to the library that I just assumed everyone else used it too. If you’re someone that has never been to the library, or just don’t know what a library has to offer, this post is for you.
What Does A Library Offer?
First of all, we know that a library has books. Tons of books. Reference books, children’s books, mystery novels, science fiction books, biographies, and so on. If you’re an avid reader, then the library should be one of your favorite places. At our library, you can rent as many books as you can read for three weeks. And the best part is that it’s completely free. If you’re an avid reader and buy a new book every week for $7, using the library instead can save you $364.
In the past couple years it’s become much more common for libraries to offer e-books in addition to paper books. Our library has this option, and my wife rents books directly to her Kindle all the time. She just goes to the library website, browses the Kindle section, and downloads the book. It stays on her Kindle for two weeks and then is automatically taken off. No trips to the library, no worries about late fees, nothing. The selection isn’t as large as paper, but the library is adding new e-books all the time. Again, if you’re buying a Kindle book once a week, the library can save you $364 (assuming the same $7 per book).
Besides books, libraries can also offer movies and video games to rent (usually for a small fee).
Libraries also offer a lot of free or low-cost instructional classes on everything from how to knit to how to use a computer. For kids, libraries have even more activities.
The Bottom Line
You can save a lot of entertainment dollars by checking into your local library. You’d be surprised at everything they have to offer.