Did you know that your local public library offers free things for people of all ages? These include books, movies, e-books, and more! You can also find out how to get a library card and what other services are offered by your public library.
Libraries aren’t just places to borrow free books. They offer a number of services and perks for patrons, not only saving you money but also making your life easier! Whether it’s something as simple as internet access or more complicated like legal aid, libraries provide so much value that over time they end up paying for themselves through taxes alone.
Libraries may be the greatest resources of all time. They are filled with books, movies, music, and more; accommodating both children’s storytimes to events for adults.
The famous steel mogul Andrew Carnegie established over 1,600 libraries across America once he had made his fortune. He believed that the future of society rested on education and knowledge and wanted to give back by establishing public places for anyone who was interested in reading books or gaining more information about any topic they could think up.
In his first library, Carnegie required that the town agree to commit yearly funds via taxpayer dollars in order for their citizens to be able to access the books. This was unheard of at the time because no other libraries had this structure where they were funded by tax money and so several states changed laws just so these projects could happen as smoothly as possible.
What Can You Get From Your Public Library?
This year, make your New Year’s resolution to read more books and spend less money. Maybe you want to learn a new skill so you can fix something yourself instead of paying someone else for it!
Maybe this is the first time reading in a while or maybe you are trying out some resolutions on how not watch as much TV or go see movies at theaters (or even both). Your goal might be learning new abilities that help save money by doing things around the house yourself rather than hiring professionals every few months.
Books: Instead of buying every bestseller, biography, and mystery novel that you want to read each year, browse your local library for a wide range of reading material. Using this method will save you up hundreds on books that are only meant to be read once.
If you can’t find the book in your library, consider requesting that they purchase it. Many libraries have a way for patrons to suggest new acquisitions and if yours doesn’t, ask them about this practice. It’s not always possible to fill requests but suggestions are great ways for directors of public or academic libraries to identify gaps in their collection which might otherwise go unnoticed by management.
E-Readers/E-Books: Libraries have evolved to keep up with the times. For example, some public libraries not only lets patrons check out e-readers like tablets and Kindles but also offer electronic books through their website and apps for phones or other devices.
If you’re headed on a long trip and want to have plenty of reading material with you, try borrowing an e-reader from your library or renting one for the duration. If it seems like something that would be useful in general but not worth buying yet, borrow one first before committing.
Printer and Computer Usage: Libraries serve as a critical and free resource for patrons who don’t have the budget to buy their own computers or printers. Libraries have computers, printers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other technological tools in order to increase Internet access in rural areas or economically disadvantaged regions of the community.
Libraries not only provide a collection of books but also have several other services. For example, they will print documents for you at an extra cost and can be quite useful for school, work or personal usage.
Business needs: If you’re considering making a career change or starting your own business, the library can be an invaluable resource. It helps connect people to resources and build relationships in their community as well as offer workshops on filing for patents and developing business plans–all at no cost!
So if you want to start small with limited funds, don’t pay expensive consultants when all of that information is available from free sources like the public library.
Instead of paying for a co-working space, head to the library. Libraries are comfortable and provide Wi-Fi.
Toy Loans: Libraries also loan out toys for children up to age 6. You’ll find a few types of puzzles, farm animals, music makers, and baby dolls available at any given time.
Toys are typically checked out on one or two library cards per child (or adult) and can be taken home for about 1-3 weeks before being returned to the library where they’ve disinfected again so that another family may check them back in!
As children grow, they often lose interest in toys and puzzles. It is a waste to buy new ones for every developmental stage or throw old stuff out as soon as kids stop playing with them. Instead of buying more products, check local toy libraries. They will save you time and money!
Event Space: Libraries have space for events, so they can help you solve the problem of not being able to find a venue.
If you already volunteer with an organization but need meeting space, the library might be a good option. It’s typically inexpensive and centrally located so no one will feel compelled to buy something while they’re there! I’ve seen these public rooms used for anything from book clubs to board game nights.
There is a surprising source of free images. 200,000 are available for public download from the New York Public Library (NYPL) on their website! The perk doesn’t require an NYPL card either; it’s open to anyone with Internet access.
The new Public Domain Collectionshttps://www.nypl.org/research/collections/digital-collections/public-domain from the Library of Congress is a wide range of high-resolution images, including old photographs and maps to fashion illustrations and public service posters.
Free/Discounted Attractions: One of the money-saving strategies I used was to check out which museum passes were available from my local library branch and then plan accordingly.
Taking advantage of these perks can save you a bundle on entrance fees, so many public libraries offer discounts or free passes to local cultural attractions like museums, zoos, and botanical gardens.
The library card passes give you access to different attractions. It’s usually a week-long, but some libraries offer discounts for longer times and others have no waiting period at all so they can be used on the day of issue.
Research and Academic Support: The public library can be a great resource for any of your school projects. Librarians are trained professionals who will help you unpack the best information on just about anything that may come up in class or at home, whether it’s related to homework assignments or not!
You can get free help from your local library by using an interlibrary loan if they don’t have the book you’re looking for. If a book is rare and not in their catalog, just ask them to request it through ILL which will be sent right away!
Libraries often have subscriptions to academic journals, which are usually expensive. Instead of just being for show, these libraries provide a valuable service by helping students and researchers stay up-to-date on current events in their fields as well as saving them money that they would otherwise needlessly spend buying the journal articles themselves from publishers at retail prices.
Digital Entertainment: As a friend of mine who has to commute more than an hour each day tells me, audiobooks are perfect for making the long drive or workout fly by.
Another friend has cut down on his entertainment budget by only seeing movies at the public library. He requests DVDs and makes a stay-at-home movie night every couple of weeks, which is great for saving money if you’re looking to trim spending. If you don’t like feature-length films but want to kick your cable habit, consider checking out whole seasons of TV shows via DVD box sets instead!
Learn New Skills: There is so much you can do at the library! In addition to checking out laptops and e-readers, you could also enroll in classes that will help grow your skills. Check out what’s offered by glancing through their adult programming or class schedule.
From computer literacy training to yoga and tai chi classes, chess clubs are just some of the interesting things going on there – who knows what else they have?
Some great places to teach are in libraries! I think teaching is a really important skill. Libraries have many programs that they do every year, so if you want something new or would like to contribute with your idea/skills then this might be what you’re looking for.
Developing skills as a teacher and being comfortable speaking publicly can help advance the community around us – it’s definitely worth trying out!
Community: Your local library is an ideal place to get involved with your community or find a volunteer opportunity. Many have a “friends of the library” group, which helps them understand and meet their communities needs.
Not a fan of working with the library? There are plenty of other ways to give back. Talk to staff and see if they have any suggestions for reputable non-profits who could use your help or donations. Libraries often work closely with many organizations, so chances are that there is something out there that fits you perfectly!
Children’s Activities: Libraries are a great place to go with your children. There is always something going on that they will enjoy, such as story time presentations and playgroups organized by age. If you don’t want to spend money on these outings then the library has events just waiting for you! They even have things like robotics, book clubs, and more.
If you’re homeschooling your kids, public library programming can be a great way to spend time with them while still providing an educational experience. You’ll probably find that the programs are perfectly tailored for children and have elements of science, technology or math in addition to fun activities like crafting or poetry slams!
The library is great for anyone on a budget as it offers a variety of services. Come in to listen to music, go online with free WiFi, and even rent movies! Don’t forget about the helpful staff who are always ready and willing to lend you their expertise if needed.
Libraries are a wonderful resource to use when you’re traveling. Need help finding your way? Just stop by the library! You can even enjoy staying there for quiet time without feeling like you have to buy anything. We should all thank Andrew Carnegie, who pioneered this idea of freely accessible public libraries funded through taxes that everyone gets access to today.