Thursday, December 6, 2007
Thrifty Thursday: The Public Library
It's so easy to forget that for our taxes, we actually should expect some things in return. Ones of these amenities is the public library. For years I stopped going to the public libraries until I graduated college. I thought they were boring, I was cooler than that, yada, yada.... However, after we moved to the Chicagoland area as a newly married couple making very little money we rediscovered how many resources were available at the libraries.
Not only are there books, but now many libraries carry many movies (on VHS and DVD), offer training for computer programs, have free Internet access, a ton of magazines and often host many community programs and events. When we move now, one of the first things I do is get a library card. When I have extra time, I go and check out DVDs, books and magazines that I am interested in. I especially like the magazines because I thoroughly enjoy reading magazines, but can't justify the cost to subscribe to most of them.
Most libraries also have online reservation systems, so it is very easy to look online to see if they carry a book you're looking for and then put a hold on it. Our library is connected with 20 or so other area libraries and if any of them carry the book, you can get it sent to your library and pick it up when it arrives.
So even though they fall into the "old-fashioned" amenities, they are a great way to save money. I know many books I would like to read are not necessarily ones I have the money to buy. The library gives me access to so many more items than I would have without it.
Oh yeah, and as a mom they often offer events like weekly story times that cost *gasp* NO MONEY. Imagine that, something your kids can participate in and really enjoy that is free. Hard to find, especially on the East coast.
So that's my plug for the local libraries - hooray for reading!