Your local library has a lot more than just books. The stuffy libraries of the past have become modernized spaces with lots of amenities and services.
If you’re looking to save money at libraries, you don’t have to give up entertainment. You’ll find lots of freebies! In addition to getting out of the house, using your local library keeps it a viable community space. And you might be surprised at what you can get!
10 Ways to Save Money at Libraries
Here are ten freebies that many libraries offer.
Of course, you’ll find many books. But they don’t have to be paper copies!
These days, many libraries offer digital downloads to your tablet or device that you can “return” from home. And you’ll also find lots of magazines. If you spend money on books, digital downloads, or magazine subscriptions, you could get all of these for free at your local library.
2. Movies and TV shows on DVD
Many libraries have a big movie collection. You can peruse the collection and check out a few movies to watch over the weekend or for a movie night.
And many libraries also have TV shows you can check out by the season. If you’re paying for expensive streaming services, you can replace them with visits to your library instead.
If you have a long commute or big road trip coming up, audiobooks are a great way to stay entertained while you drive. Audiobooks can be expensive, but you can easily save by renting a few titles from your library.
4. Meeting spaces
If you want to host a community event, have a presentation, or rent a space, ask your librarian if they have meeting spaces. Often, you can book rooms for free with a completely refundable deposit. Meeting rooms can be expensive. So this can be an easy way to save on your gathering.
5. Storytime and game rooms for kids
Libraries are great places to keep children entertained. Many of them have separate rooms with books for kids and some even have game rooms. Plus, as part of community initiatives, most libraries have storytime where kids can hear a book being read aloud.
This is a convenient way to meet other parents in your area and get your children to learn to read in a social setting.
6. Activity kits for kids
You can take the learning experience home. Several libraries offer activity kits filled with videos, books, games and toys related to a topic, like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
These kits are a great way for kids to learn at home. And they’re excellent sources for things like book reports, science projects and more.
7. Help with complicated paperwork
As part of community outreach, many libraries host tax return workshops from February through April. Filing taxes can be some of the most stressful paperwork of the year for lots of folks, so these services are helpful to make the process much easier.
In addition, you can usually find help finding a job as well as filling out other paperwork like healthcare open enrollment. Most libraries also have computers and computer skills courses, and host speakers who present on all sorts of topics.
8. A space to get work done
Another excellent benefit is having a quiet place to read and get work done. Libraries are an excellent alternative to coffee shops, where you might feel compelled to spend money to keep a spot to work.
Instead, head to your library and find a comfortable chair or desk. Most libraries offer free Wi-Fi, so you can save and submit your work before you leave.
9. Take free classes
Be sure to ask about lectures, classes, and activities at the library. You might find everything from book talks to book club evenings to craft workshops to art exhibits from local artists. This is an excellent way to learn new skills and stay engaged in your community for free.
10. Rentals of all sorts
You might find things to check out other than books and other media. Many libraries offer power tools, musical instruments, electronic gadgets, hobby supplies, toys, board games, health trackers and so much more.
Put your library to work for you and ask about their services. You can save big money on items you know you’ll only use once or get to try out new things before you commit to spending money on them.
Save money at libraries bottom line
Libraries are in your community to help. And they’re also an easy way to save a lot of money.
Besides books and free entertainment, many modern libraries have a wide range of services. If it’s been a while since you’ve explored your local library, it might be time to get a library card and ask what they can offer you.