For those of you who aren’t aware I am an avid bookworm! Some days I feel like I want to read so many books at once it makes my head spin. Obviously though I can’t afford to buy all the books my heart desires to read as this would seriously hinder my goal to become financially free. Maybe you are experiencing the same thing or are just looking for some new activities to become involved in.
Well, I have a recommendation for you! Use your public library! Below I have compiled a short list of all the things libraries have to offer. For free! Hopefully, you can find a new things your library can offer you after reading this post!
- Free books
The first thing that pops in to your mind when you think of a library is most likely books. But did you realize that libraries offer several options for how you can read? Yes, they are keeping up with the technological age and you can now choose between paper back, hard back, eBooks, or even audio books! But why choose?!?! I use all three options at the same time so why can’t you?
Now I’m a big supporter of author’s as well, so I do support purchasing books that you love. But to be honest, I can’t afford all the books I desire and if I did purchase these books it would work strongly against my plan to gain my financial freedom. So, my solution is to borrow books from the library, and purchase the ones I love!
If you are homebound, many libraries offer a “books by mail” program where they can pay for delivery and return of books you request. The great thing is you can reserve books as well so there is no need to wait on new releases. Just be sure to return everything you borrow on time or there will be late fees.
- Free movies
So I’m sure you all knew libraries offered free books, but were you aware that they also offered free movies? Yes that is right you can borrow movies from the library to watch for free! New releases are also included! Just be mindful that movies typically have a shorter time you can keep them compared to books, so make sure you borrow movies during a time that you can actually watch them.
- Free music
Yes you read that correctly! Libraries also offer free music that you can borrow! Now I’m not sure if libraries are caught up technologically in this area yet, but hopefully you have a cd player that you can use to listen to these for free before deciding to purchase!
- Free Internet Access
I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent at public libraries simply to get work done. One of the greatest resources libraries offer is access to free internet! They even provide computers you can use for brief periods of time, or you can bring your own. This is a great option if you need or want to cut the internet bill out of your current budget, or if you don’t have access to a computer.
- Free Learning
I am a huge supporter of personal development and believe that we should always be trying to educate ourselves. Libraries are a great resource to do this! Many libraries offer training classes in a variety of areas such as learning a new language, job skills, resume writing, computer skills, DIY projects, even gardening! Fun Fact: the public library in my area allows you to borrow gardening tools for a week for free! How cool is that? They also provide you with information on additional resources you can take advantage of in the community!
- Free Child Activities
I was homeschooled for a few years and I loved taking advantage of free activities offered by our library. I’ve seen libraries offer movie nights, game nights, time to color, late night recess, and various learning activities. If you have kids this is a great resource for you to use for entertainment and learning.
- Free Study Areas
Many libraries have designated areas where you can study or work quietly. I’ve seen several options depending on which library you go to, but they typically range from small office size rooms you can reserve, to open areas with lots of tables and desks. I strongly recommend taking advantage of these areas if you need a place to focus or somewhere to host that next study session.
- Free Community Activities
As I mentioned above, libraries are great for events that are open to the public. I suggest looking at the events section of your public library to find a calendar of events that will be happening soon. Just to give you an idea though, my library currently shows a reading and running group, easy and chair yoga, and Saturday stock talks! There are tons of other options but just think about the opportunities you could be experiencing for free at your local library!
- Book Sales
I have moved a lot the past few years. Each time I make sure to scout out their local library and each time I notice the library I go to will have an annual book sale. When I lived in Wisconsin, the library there had quarterly book sales! If you love books and are looking for a way to buy books you’d like without breaking your budget, be sure to try out these book sales! I also recommend asking library personnel if they will be having a special bag sale towards the end of the event as I’ve gotten to shop these book sales for $5 a bag before!
- Meeting Rooms
If you are looking for a conference room or meeting space definitely ask your local library. I think these usually cost a little to reserve, but I think they would be cheaper than alternative options.
- Author Talks
I actually have two libraries I go to on a regular basis now that I live in a larger area. I was delighted to learn that the larger of the two libraries I go to hosts monthly author talks where they invite published authors to come for a short meet and greet. It’s super exciting when I see an author that I have been dying to meet come by!
All the libraries I have gone to offer various clubs that you can be a part of. The fun part is they usually have options for kids, teens, and adults! Again I recommend checking the events or services tab of your local library website to see what they offer. However, to give you an idea my library offers knitting club, English as a second language club, maker club for kids, and many more!
If this list has not inspired you to start utilizing your local library, I’m not sure what will. Libraries are such a gift and it saddens me that many of them are losing funding. Eventually, I worry that libraries will become a thing of the past due to technology. If you are a supporter of any of these things please be sure to stop by your library and take advantage of what it has to offer.
Share below a fun thing your library offers!