I’m a die hard Redbox fan no more. I used to think you couldn’t beat $1 video rentals. But that was before I started checking out videos from my local library.
Now I have access to new release videos for free. In the past few weeks I’ve borrowed movies like Safe House, The Grey, Red Tails, Chronicle, Man On A Ledge, True Blood Season 4, Gone, and Contraband, just to name a few.
But my library has saved me more than just video rental money. Today’s libraries have have evolved to provide money saving services for people savvy enough to take advantage of them.
It’s not just about books anymore. At the public library I frequent, the audiobooks on CD are especially popular. The new release audiobooks on CD section is always crowded with commuters who listen to books on their way to work and the elderly who have may have trouble reading traditional books. That’s not surprising since many these audiobook CDs can retail for $49 or $59.
Did you know that the majority of libraries in the US now allow you to download books onto your Kindle or other reading device for a limited period of time? The great thing about this is that you can borrow E-books anytime of the day in the comfort of your home just by logging onto your library’s website. And when your loan period is over there is no need to return your E-book or pay late fees. The E-book simply disappears from your reading device.
If physical books are more your style, you’re in luck too. Public libraries increasingly are stocking contemporary and popular books like those found on the New York Times best-sellers list. Perhaps more importantly, many libraries have joined forces to create large library consortiums that give members access to books at a large number of libraries.
In Western New York, where I live, libraries in multiple counties offer a common library card that allows patrons to use any library in the system. Card holders can even have a book from one library delivered to the library closest to where they live. The end result is that library patrons suddenly have access to literally hundreds of thousands of books.
If you’re living on a budget, it may be time to ditch Amazon, Blockbuster, and Barnes and Noble. Save your hard earned money instead by visiting your local library.
BMWK: Do you use your local library? How has it saved you money?