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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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