After dragging two screaming toddlers away from the Thomas the Tank Engine display at our local Barnes and Noble, I was reminded of how much I love my library.
Sure, there’s the whole deal with being able to check out books for free. But there are so many other great things about my public library that I adore:
Databases and other reference materials. Libraries have subscriptions to all kinds of cool databases – from Consumer Reports reviews to Chilton databases for car repairs. Need to find out something about a government entity or get tax help? You’ll find it at the library.
Magazines. Hello, budget saver! Libraries carry a vast array of interesting magazines (ones you never find on the rack at the super market). I always find something that inspires me – and best of all – no magazine clutter around the house.
Community events. From childrens’ activities to book groups to special guest speakers, there is always something going on at the library – and all of the events are free!
Book sales. For those of you who just have to own books, watch for library book sales. Most libraries sell used books as a fundraiser. You can get some great reads for great prices.
Downloadable books. No time to read? Or stuck in the car? Download books from your library to your iPod or MP3 player for free.
Movies and music. Classic films and a diverse collection of music are available for free check-out at your local library. Watching a classic movie for free is a great way to spend a Friday night!
And of course, the library is just plain easy to use. Most libraries will let you select the books you want online and reserve them from home, so picking them up at the library is a cinch. You can even sign up for e-mail reminders of when items are due back at the library. Many libraries offer drive through, drop-off services, too.
Libraries are so much more than free books. They are a perfect way to stretch your budget and get a bit more enjoyment out of life!