The Best Things about My Local Library (Or, How the Library Saves Me Hundreds of Dollars Each Year)

Library Graphic

Books have the power to change lives, so imagine the potential a library has to transform a community. Besides providing free access to books, movies, music, video games, and toys, libraries also offer programs ranging from book clubs to computer literacy to concerts. At Pages Unbound, we love libraries and the work they do, so we asked several bloggers to share what they love about their libraries. Come back all July to help us celebrate libraries!

Books

To get the obvious out of the way, the library rents free books to people.  It doesn’t get more awesome than that, especially to bibliophiles who can go through a hundred books or more each year.

Interlibrary Loans

Furthermore, I can get any book ever published (well, just about any book; it turns out university libraries are somewhat protective of their $150 reference books).  For the low price of 50 cents, my library will search the country and get me any book they don’t have from another library.  I understand some libraries have free ILLs (and I am sort of jealous because even 50 cents can add up!), but in the end, I think it’s a pretty good deal since the librarians are the ones putting in all the effort of fetching me the book.

DVDs

I don’t subscribe to any sites like Hulu or Netflix, but I can catch up on tons of popular television shows and movies at my local library.  Maybe I’m just a little behind everyone else (or a couple seasons), but I can finally figure out what’s happening in Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, or Game of Thrones.

Book Sales

Paperback for 50 cents and hardcovers for a dollar?  I don’t even have to like the book to be willing to pay those types of prices!

Summer Reading Program

I have great memories of writing down my books and page counts all throughout school (It was like the original Goodreads in terms of keeping track of books!).  The best was reading enough pages to finally win a book as a prize.  And, it turns out, my library is starting an adult summer reading program this year!

Book Donations

This point may seem a little more random than the others, but other book lovers and bloggers will know it’s possible to acquire a lot of books.  And sometimes you want (or need) to clear them out.  Donating books to my library helps me achieve that, while supporting a good cause.  It’s also a more affordable alternative to trying to give away boxes of books on the blog because even shipping can get expensive.

What do you love about your local library?

25 thoughts on “The Best Things about My Local Library (Or, How the Library Saves Me Hundreds of Dollars Each Year)

    • Briana says:

      We’re having one, too, soon! I’m bummed I can’t make the weekday part (blegh, work), but I should be able to see what’s left on the weekend.

      Like

  1. rebekahbissett says:

    I’m a teacher so I get the convenience of borrowing from the school library as well as the English department’s books! I’ve definitely saved a lot of money – love libraries! I’m always trying to encourage kids to join their local library. Great post 🙂

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    • Briana says:

      My grade school library was a very tiny place, but I somehow managed to find new things to read each week for several years. I hear some schools are phasing out library time and combining it with other classes, like computer literacy, and that makes me sad.

      My college library was HUGE, but not really big on novels, obviously. I tried ILLing one once, and apparently they don’t do that either. Research books only for me!

      I still love school libraries, though.

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  2. storytimewithbuffy says:

    I love libraries for the reasons you mentioned above but I also love them for the atmosphere. I have a couple of libraries close to where I work and they are nice places to go if I ever need a quiet and peaceful place to get away from the stresses of my job. I love being surrounded by books and there’s no pressure to buy anything. Just me and the books communing together in tranquil harmony.

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    • Briana says:

      That’s a great point! I don’t think the set-up in my local library is necessarily as conducive to reading as it could be, but I definitely loved going to my college library to get into a different setting and really accomplish some reading or work.

      I also you your point about how libraries are a no-pressure zone!

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  3. Kayla says:

    I love my library! We get free ILL throughout the county and they just stopped charging for DVD rentals so I’m going to start checking out their stock of movies as well! I just wish my librarians were nicer – they always seem so annoyed by everyone there!

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    • Briana says:

      Haha, I had some issues with grumpy librarians when I was younger (and always felt sad that everyone else seems to have that nice stereotypical librarian who loves books and loves helping people!).

      They’ve gotten nicer as I’ve gotten older, though. Apparently they take requests from adults more seriously than they do requests from kids.

      I do have the occasional problem still, though, because I look like a teenager. One librarian blatantly accused me of lying and trying to check out something I was “too young” to check out. She didn’t apologize after I showed my ID, but I got the DVD, at least. (They have this weird policy people under 18 can’t check out DVDs from the adult section, even if said DVD is rated PG.)

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      • Kayla says:

        My library has that policy too! Before they started charging for DVDs I tried taking one out. I’m twenty but look about fifteen so they didn’t want to give it to me!

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        • Briana says:

          I can see the point of the policy, but they might want to do a better job of sorting between kid and adult films then. I mean, I was trying to borrow Anne of Green Gables. Hardcore stuff there. 😉

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  4. Ana @ Read Me Away says:

    Interlibrary loans and even reserves cost some money at my library, but I don’t really do those so I’m okay with it. I love the fact that it has a big ebook database that I can borrow from. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve calculated that the library has saved me about $500 in book money, more or less.

    Libraries are awesome!

    Like

    • Briana says:

      Yes, my library also charges 50 cents to hold things. I do it enough it that would become a somewhat significant cost after awhile, but it’s obviously still far, far cheaper than buying all the books!

      $500 is a lot! That’s awesome!

      Like

      • Ana @ Read Me Away says:

        Totally! Say a book is $10 to $20, which is realistic if you are where I am. -_- Books can go for more expensive, but I’m going to try and be optimistic. 😛 Holding 10 books on reserve would only be $5, compared to paying $100 to $200 for 10 books.

        I had no idea that I saved this much money! It makes me so much happier now. 😀 (Money that I use to fund OTHER hobbies. :P)

        Like

    • Krysta says:

      That’s true! Whenever I get a book from the library and I feel kind of neutral about it, I tend to think, “Well at least I didn’t buy it!”

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    • Briana says:

      I wanted to keep track of what I was saving/spending at the library this year and make some charts, but I’m always too lazy to write down all the data.

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  5. amyo3119 says:

    I never get tired of finding someone who really doesn’t know all of the things a library can offer. I begin to rattle off all of the great things you can find at the library and some people just can’t believe it. It floors me, as someone who has been using the library since I was little. I get so many books, dvds, cd’s, magazines, etc… at no cost to me.

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    • Briana says:

      That’s fantastic, that you can help so many people out! I think it’s a great reminder that libraries can always use help with outreach, and a great reminder of how much they have to offer the community.

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    • Briana says:

      Definitely! I just checked out The Book Thief, which I wasn’t able to see while it was in theaters, and while I was pretty bummed that I missed it at the time, I can comfort myself in retrospect that I saved some money by not buying that movie ticket!

      I don’t think my library have video games, though, at least no ones I’ve seen! That might be an interesting topic for librarians, if they see video games as an integral part of the services they offer, or if they think video games are “killing” reading.

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      • Krysta says:

        I’ve been checking out more movies than usual lately and I am really pleased that I don’t have to pay the (sometimes) expensive ticket prices. But, when it comes to newer releases, I am constantly afraid that someone will spoil the film for me if I don’t see it right away!

        My library has video games, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about them. I think that libraries are trying to change to keep up with the services patrons want, and that they would be willing to offer video games if that meant more patrons coming through the doors (and maybe grabbing a book, too!).

        Like

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