Reasons to Have a Library Card

book_stackIf you’re not already a frequent visitor to your local library, you are passing up on one of the best-kept secrets in a bid for frugal living. From resources to community events, your library is a treasure trove of activities, all available at little or no cost.


At the risk of stating the obvious, libraries are full of books just waiting to be read and consumed by you, gentle reader. The whole concept behind booking lending is one of the staples of frugal living. Books (except for some real, dog-eared favourites), are not generally read again. This is a great example of getting the same enjoyment from an activity- but choosing to do it in a frugal way.

The book stock is not limited to older books. Most libraries offer new releases and best sellers on a shortened lending schedule. You generally need to put your name on a waiting list for these, but with a little foresight, you can expect to curl up with your favourites not long after they are released.

E-books, Newspapers and Magazines

Reading resources are not limited to traditional books. Many community libraries offer eBook access (often for bestsellers).

Libraries are a great place to read a host of local, national and international papers- which are interesting because of all the different levels of news- and different perspectives as well.

Save on magazine subscriptions by borrowing your faves from the library. If you see recipes or articles that you really like, you can always photocopy them on site.

Movies and Music

There are not just books up for borrowing. Most libraries have a vast selection of DVDs and music available too. DVDs often include many popular titles as well as great instructional videos, like how-tos and exercise, as well as a deep bank of kids’ movies.

Many libraries offer video games for borrowing time too, and give your kids a chance to try out a game without having to pay the potentially high price tag for one.

Be careful though. Lending periods for these items are often shorter than those for books, so if you are checking out many items that fall under different categories, pay attention to the different due dates. Assuming they are all due the same time can result in some hefty fines (I speak from experience!).

Children’s Programs

From Baby and Toddler Storytime to school-aged reading groups to teen activity groups, libraries are all about offering programs that promote literacy and creativity- and are usually free.

For instance, for my children’s age group, in addition to the standard reading clubs, my local library hosts some really cool events, like a Lego “Block Party” where they bring in buckets of Lego and have teams of kids compete to build towers and structures. They also have lots crafty sessions that involve a themed reading and a nifty craft.

Libraries also tend to run programs that involve stories, songs and crafts around various holidays.

Most of these programs tend to be free, but often require pre-registration. In my experience, they fill up fast too- so don’t wait too long.

Adult Programs

Library programming doesn’t just offer activities for the kids, but often have things for adults too. Language, local history and craft courses are commonly offered. Libraries are often home base for other types of groups, like book clubs and writing groups that welcome local authors and other people of interest.


Need access to a computer or a printer? Your library is a good spot for this too. Computer use is generally free, but sometimes requires a reservation. Printed sheets generally come at a small cost.