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How To Save Money By Using The Library

Updated on September 24, 2012


Personally, I could live in a library.

Growing up, we had TV but it was only sporadically for one reason or another.  Books became my best friend at a very early age. 

It was my usual routine to go to the traveling bookmobile and come away loaded down with stacks of books....which I always read before the next visit!

I've often thought how much fun it would be to be all alone in the library for a weekend with maybe some great food, a fireplace and a nice cozy place to sleep!

It's not much as far as fantasies go I suppose but the bottom line is, a library is a wonderful place to be.

Let's not forget about the great privilege it is to have a library card and to be able to check out all those books, etc. without ever paying a dime!

In this day and age, I think many of us have forgotten what a great place a library is to hang out but we've also overlooked one very important factor......they can save you MONEY!

Let's consider the many money-saving things your local library can do for you.



  • Borrow DVD's. With a little planning, all you have to do is go online and request which movies you want. They will then be waiting for you to pick up! They do have new releases and while sometimes it's harder to get those simply because of supply and demand, if you're smart about keeping up and knowing how far in advance to order them on your library card, you've got it made!

  • Computer for free. You can go to any library and use the Internet for free. While some busier libraries have time limits on how long you can use the computers, a lot of people who don't even own a computer find it ample time to do all they need to do. For those of us with laptops, it's a great way to get free Wi-Fi and work to your heart's content.
  • Save a tree or six. Books are one of my favorite things to buy but I've quickly realized over the years that the amount of books I buy and keep is not only adding to my bills but it is also making it impossible for me to keep them all. We keep adding bookcases because the more I buy, the less room I have on my multiple bookcases! While I still love them and there are some authors that I simply will always buy (on sale and after they are no longer new releases), now I go to the library. The same principle applies.....I know when the book will be coming out and I reserve it online or suggest it as a purchase. That way I'm guaranteed to get it immediately or relatively soon after it comes off the presses. Think of all the trees I'm saving by not buying all those books! Not to mention the cash!
  • CD's. The same as DVD's and can browse on-line or in the library and get the latest CD's and other media that's come out. Or you can look up past CDs and get those. Most libraries allow you an absolutely incredible number of books and CD's that you can check out and most have long due-back dates. It's a great savings.
  • Meetings and community. Libraries are generally low-cost meeting places and if you go into the library on any given day, night or day, there is generally almost always something going on. I've attended many meetings at libraries, from bird shows to cross country skiing demonstrations. Check with your local libraries for things to attend or if you're in need of an inexpensive meeting place, inquire at your local library.
  • Tax deductions. You can volunteer at your local library or become a Friend of the Library. Go to your local Friends of the Library website and become part of a great network of people who love books and libraries. Or donate books or cash to the Friends of the Library and receive a tax deduction. Volunteering expenses are also tax deductible and what a great place to work!
  • Get rid of magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Most every magazine or newspaper can be found at the local library along with archived copies. Check out your library for your periodicals and forget about your subscriptions. You can also read most newspapers on line nowadays as well!
  • Get warm and stay cool. When I lived in the Midwest and it was 99 degrees outside and 100% humidity, I used to take my kids to the library and stay as long as I possibly could. It's a great place to hang out for the air conditioning in summer or the heat in winter. Turn down your thermostat at home if you want and save money while you're enjoying the wonders of your local library.


In short, your local library can be a great source of learning but it can also be a great financial planning tool as well. 

Turn to your local library when you're thinking of ways to trim your budget.

  • You can save money on CD's, DVD's, books and other media. 
  • You can save on newspapers and magazines. 
  • You can also save by using the library facilities to hold meetings or attend free seminars and programs. 
  • Don't forget to include the kids in the programs available at the local library too.

From toddlers to 95, the library is a fantastic place to be and it's also a money-saver to boot in a hard economy!


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Ellebee for stopping in--will have to check out your hub as well.

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      I wrote a hub on this also. We overlapped on some of our suggestions, but also have other ones. You made a great point about cancelling magazine subscriptions and reading at the library instead. I should probably do this soon! I love checking out the museum passes at my library.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks TLL for stopping by - I usually STILL walk out with an armload of books and can't seem to resist the urge to 'learn more' for free!

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 7 years ago from New York City

      Absolutely - you have covered it all. Right now from the library I have videos, magazines (that give me ideas for hubs), a great fiction novel by a favorite author (I reserve books online), a book with beading ideas, for when my beading friend comes over later - and when my computer service was down, I ran to the library to use the computer.

      This is one of the things we pay for and should use.

      Oh, and yes, in the summer, libraries are designated cooling centers.

      What a great hubs Many thanks and rated way up. Yay!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Hanna~!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      That is another good idea to save.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Simone - I probably could live there~!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      I am SO with you on these things! I ADORE libraries - they're such an efficient, lovely community resource, and I don't know what I'd do without them!! Great Hub.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Zsuzsy Bee - yes we be well~! Weller than usual I suppose because we are getting a new addition to the Kirchner Klan in a few months....another malamute pup...more hubs!

      That is the only bad thing about the library....I cannot take my dogs! They would be good but no one will believe me!!

      Thanks for stopping by and I'll meet you in the virtual library and we'll have a spot of tea, curl up on the sofas and read!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Audrey, you pulled the words right out from under me. My dream home --the library-- a big puffy armchair to sink into, my idea of heaven

      great hub as always

      hope you and the gang are well

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Hey Darski - I think maybe we should open a B&B at the library! I'm going to talk to Bob about it!!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Hello, it's just me again, I agree with you, I love library's. I could surround myself with books, the fire place sounds great and a nice cozy couch and blanket. Great hub, great job. Love darski

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      I totally agree, Scott and thanks so much for visiting~!

    • Scott_Grigg profile image

      Scott_Grigg 7 years ago from Midwest USA-Southeast

      I use the local library all the time. Great resource for CD's and books. I read, a lot. So buying isn't an option unless I want to go broke. Good article.