Lately, I find myself at the public library pretty often. It’s quiet and comfortable and the perfect place to write for this blog. I’ve discovered that libraries are much more than a place for books, they’re brimming with opportunities to save money – and some you can even access from anywhere.
Here are some ways to save money using the public library:
*Every library is different, so make sure to check with your local branch and see what’s available to you*
Ebooks and Audiobooks
Use your library card for ebooks and audiobooks and save money on subscriptions and ebook purchases. Simply go to your library’s website and when you find something you like, typically via an app, download to your tablet, smartphone or e-book reader. This also prevents late fees because at the end of the lending time the book simply disappears from your device.
Check your library’s website for instructions and formats.
Most libraries lend DVDs of TV shows, movies and documentaries. And it’s often pretty easy to find new releases. While this means traveling to the library to find a video, you’ll save money over renting. We’ve had some great movie nights thanks to this!
New Skills and Career
Career guidance and learning resources are available at most libraries. I was ecstatic to discover that through my library I could access Lynda.com – a leading online education company. I’ve been using this heavily over the last few months and have learned a ton with it – in fact, it taught me how to build this blog. And I can access the service from anywhere through my phone app. This saves me on the cost of the regular monthly membership fee.
Car Repair Online Manuals
I was seriously surprised to discover this. My husband works on our cars, so we can now save even more thanks to our library offering access to a leading car repair database. We now have access to a huge database filled with repair manuals, diagrams and photos for cars from most auto makers. And it includes both modern and vintage cars. On average these manuals can run about $30 per manual.
With all the ads on TV, I was becoming increasingly curious about who my ancestors were. Was there a dark twist in my family history that kept me from being a princess??? Sadly, no. Thanks to my library’s access to 3 different ancestry databases, I instead discovered that I hail from a long line of manual laborers with relatively short lives. Sighs.
Individual memberships to some of these databases can otherwise range into hundreds each year.
Many libraries also offer language learning, streaming music, business and investment guides, travel ebooks, consumer research (great for those big purchases!), activities for the kiddos and tons more! Make sure to check with your local library to see how they can help you save money.
And if there is something that you think would be a great addition to your library, it’s good to ask for it. This lets them know that you are interested.
Notice that none of this is truly free. Because it’s not. It’s all paid for with our tax dollars. So, yes, the public library is a plethora of ways to save money. But services are more prepaid than they are free.