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You MUST read this post! I know many of you may stop reading when you hear we are taking a trip to the library, but stay with me!

When was the last time you DID go to the library? If you are an avid library goer, hopefully I will have even more tips for you that you did not know about your local library.  Your library can help you keep from spending money (as long as you return your goods on time) and they have so much to offer. Here are just a few resources that I have found at my library.

1. Your library has an ONLINE CATALOG: Don’t have time to “browse” books at the building? Spend a few minutes browsing your library’s online catalog. It is a TIME SAVER and you can check books out for FREE. You don’t have to pay to read them! And, if they are at another library that is too far away….

2. Most libraries will deliver the book to a library closest to you, if not to your doorstep.  See a new cookbook that is across town but you don’t have time to pick it up? Go online, “check” it out with your library card and have it ready for pick up at your closest library. Many times your library will call you or email you when your items are available.

3. Libraries have more to offer than “just books”! Most libraries have a WIDE collection of books, magazines, video games, computer software, music cds, movies (DVD/VHS), free downloadable audio books, free downloadable ebooks, and that is just a small list of what you can borrow!  Your library has computer labs, free classes, story time for children, tax help, tax documents, free online tutoring resources for K-12, and more! You can take your children to play in the children’s area while you peruse the newest magazines. You can find patterns for crochet, knitting, quilts, etc. for FREE. You can cook new meals every night without buying *yet another* cookbook. You can get your child instant help with algebra at 9pm when it is too late to call someone.

Starting a business? They have books for that. Need help with finances? They have books for that. Need a computer manual? Need a car maintenance manual? Need landscaping ideas? Need home improvement guidance? They have books or magazines or reference materials on everything. Miss last season of a TV show? They have the entire season to rent(free).  And, as a reminder, if you don’t have time to get to know where to find things in your library, see #1 and #2 again.

4. Your librarian WANTS to help you. If you have a question, ask. They are not too busy to answer. They love answering questions. They love helping you find an answer; it is why they became a librarian. You can never ask them a “stupid” question.  If you are using online services from home and need help, call the librarian or the help desk phone number. If you have questions about how to search for a book or resources, call and ask the librarian. They will be pleased to help you.

Enjoy getting to re-know your local library and its resources. Here is a summary of available services mentioned above. Most are available at all libraries.

  • Free books, magazines, newspapers, sheet music, and access to reference materials
  • Free video game rentals, movie rentals, TV shows, music CDs, music records, and audio book rentals
  • Free downloadable ebooks and audio books
  • Free access to computers, internet, tax help, and reading nooks
  • Free children’s play areas and story time, educational classes, community meeting areas, and sometimes coffee bars
  • Free online resources such as catalogs, tutoring help, event calendars, and access to downloadable media
  • Free assistance via librarian expertise