Six Reasons to Get (or Renew) Your Library Card

library-keyfob-largeWhen is the last time you visited your local library? Don’t let boredom be your budget buster. Get well acquainted with your local library, and you may be surprised at what you find inside.

Does your idea of a library include dusty rows of dogeared paperbacks or long-forgotten hardcovers? Then you haven’t been to your library in a while. Libraries are a secret nugget of entertainment, fun and education for all age groups and members of the family.

Curl up and Read

Ok—we will start with the most obvious. Hit the library with the kids for an afternoon curled up with a good book. Let the kids choose what they’d like to read, and either spend some time reading to them or each retreat to your own corner with a stack.

My library has a fireplace and comfy chairs, which create a particularly comfy environment on a dark and rainy day.

There usually is not a limit on how many books you can check out, so load up the wagon or your backpack and get reading.

Kids Programs

Libraries run great summer programs for the kids, usually with awesome themes and activities. My library runs these great, simple programs that my kids look forward to every year. For instance, they have a “block party” where they bring in wagons of Lego and have the kids compete in teams to build the coolest structures, tallest towers, etc.

There is also an assortment of crafty sessions, usually themed around a certain event or topic, letting the kids get creative and learn something too.

These programs are free, but generally require you to have a library card- which in most cases is also free.

Adult Programs

Want to learn about local history? Genealogy? Creative Writing? Investigate what is offered. Libraries are forever hosting workshops and meetings with local experts on various subjects and gives you the opportunity to expand your horizons, generally for free- or at least for minimal cost, depending on the item at hand.

Beyond the Books

Think your library is your borrowing spot just for books? No! Libraries lend out a wide variety of movies, music CD’s and even video games (which is a great try-before-you-buy technique).

Be wary though, multi-media items usually have different lending periods than books (much shorter, typically), so double check the return date when you check out. I’ve made that mistake before, and overdue fines quickly erode the budgetary impact of the free library resources.

Magazines, Newspapers

If you have cut magazine and newspaper subscriptions out of your budget in an effort to save some dough, the library will likely have your faves in stock. Save, read, repeat!

Free Wi-Fi

If you don’t feel like milling through the masses at the local coffee shop, hook into the free Wi-Fi at the library.

Also, there are usually workstations with computers and printers available for your use (usually printing costs a nominal fee per page).