Local libraries aren’t just for books anymore. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to a branch, you might be surprised at how many resources are available. Checking the library for items first is a great way to save money. After all, if you can borrow the item, you won’t have to buy your own copy! Here are five things to look for:
1. Audio Books and E-Books
Most libraries participate in OverDrive or a similar digital lending program. With your library card, you’ll have access to tons of audio books and e-books in a variety of genres. While the lending system may vary from site to site, most follow a similar format.
You’ll be able to download the content onto a personal device for a set amount of time. Once that time is up, your loan will expire, and you’ll no longer have access. Of course, if there isn’t a waiting list you’ll be able to renew your loan, just like a traditional book.
There’s no need to pay for an audiobook subscription if you can access one for free from your library, so be sure to check this one out!
2. Videos and DVDs
Why pay rental fees when you can check out movies at the library? Most libraries have a great selection of videos and DVDs to choose from.
You’ll want to be sure you understand the loaning policy on movies. Some libraries limit the number of movies you can have out at one time, or they have a shorter loan period than for a book.
Libraries often have subscriptions to all the popular magazines. You might not be able to check these out, but you can plan on sitting in the library to read the latest edition. That way you can drop your own subscription. You’ll save money and clear up some of your clutter at the same time!
If your library doesn’t have the magazines you like, check with the librarian to see if there’s a way to request materials. Some libraries have forms that users can fill out to ask the library to subscribe to new magazines or get additional content. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
4. Test Prep Material
If you’re a student on a tight budget, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on test prep materials that you’ll only use once. The library is the perfect solution. You can often find the latest materials for all sorts of exams, including:
- The SAT.
- The GRE.
- The NCLEX.
- The LSAT.
- The Praxis.
You can check out the books and work through practice problems on a piece of paper. Work on the sections you’re having trouble with, and then return the books after you ace your test.
The vast majority of public libraries offer free Wi-Fi to cardholders. You might have to ask for the username and password, though.
Once you’re connected, you’ll be able to download large files on your laptop, check Facebook from your phone, or do anything else you’d normally do online. Except you won’t be using any of your own data to do it.
Go Get Your Library Card
Head to your library and sign up for a card. It’s usually a simple process that just requires photo ID and proof of residence. Once you have your card, that’s your ticket to all of these resources and more.
For more money saving ideas, be sure to check out the iRazoo blog frequently. You’ll help cut dollars from your budget and earn money on the side!