Bekah Steenbock
local library

Your local public library is much more than a great place for books. It can save you big bucks, help you with a career or education transition, and even hosts many activities for kids, teens, and adults.  Here are the reasons to check out the library near your apartment.

Save money by borrowing books

Books typically run $12-$25 in a retail setting and also cost a few dollars to download. However, borrowing from the library is free (as long as you turn your book in on time and don't have to pay late fees). The local library makes it easy to find a book from whatever genre you want, and you’ll discover books you weren’t aware of. Be sure to check out their audio and e-book selection. It's a great way to save money and read your favorite books.

Hot Tip: Many libraries have what’s called a “Friend’s Room,” where gently used books are for sale. These books have been donated by friend of the library and their sale boosts the library’s operating fund. You can find wonderful hardbound books for only a dollar or two, and magazines can even be free.

Save money by borrowing music and movies

The library has CDs in many musical genres. See if your favorite artists are there. You can borrow the CDs without having to purchase them. The same goes for movies. Borrow movies you like, and watch them without ads. You’ll have a week or two to watch and return your favorite films, including old classics which are hard to find on TV.

Save money  on magazines

Did you know that local public libraries often have magazine subscriptions to all sorts of magazines?  From fashion to sports and news to science, you can read your favorite magazines without having to pay the subscription rate to have them delivered to your apartment.

Hot tip: Magazines are typically not allowed to be checked out, but libraries place comfy reading chairs near their “periodical” section, which is where you’ll find the magazines.

Save money with free internet

Most of us do several things online, from downloading music to shopping. But having internet at home is pricey, and restaurants often shut theirs down during mealtimes, to free up tables. If you don’t want to live in a Starbucks, the library is a pleasant, clean and comfortable alternative . . . with free internet. You can either take your own computer and use their wireless code, or use a computer they have at no extra charge.

Work on your education

Libraries have a desire to help those in education. Some sites will offer GED classes and do school supply drives for those in need. Public libraries also often offers tutoring opportunities for those who need help in class. Looking to learn a foreign language? The library has you covered, and typically owns full sets of expensive language DVDs that you can borrow for free. It's also a quiet place to study, and conference rooms can be booked for free.

Get help with research

The library is a great place to get research information for your class paper.  From science to history to old newspaper articles and historical documents, libraries can give you what you need or point you in the right direction. Larger public libraries will even have a dedicated research librarian on staff, who can find answers to tricky questions, all at no charge to you!

Looking for a job?

Job searching is tough work. It can be hard to know where to start. Many libraries have job and career resources that can help you find that dream job. Not computer savvy? The library offers resources to help you learn computer skills.

Great for kids (and grandkids!)

Your local public library does many things to get the young kids into reading. It is a lot of fun, and the library has classes especially for toddlers. They know kids that age can't sit still for too long, so they create programs that incorporate movement with reading. For babies, some libraries even have baby yoga classes that incorporate reading and yoga. Many libraries offer online kids’ books and educational options like animated talking picture books, puzzles, music and much more.

Special Events for All Ages

Many libraries have special events for the kids and the adults. Events for kids are often during summer or school breaks. Adults can enjoy guest speakers, book signings and educational or networking opportunities. Check your library’s calendar of events. Often, they will print out a monthly calendar, which you can take home to your apartment.

Hot Tip: Placing this calendar on your refrigerator will remind you of all the free events coming up.

The local public library has so much to offer. All you need to do is be a local resident and get a library card, which is free. There’s something for everyone at the local library. It is so much more than just books it is a great service to the community.



About The Author

Bekah Steenbock is a freelance writer with a background in real-estate and business growth. She is a native Austinite, but has called Seattle, Mankato, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Atlanta home. Bekah, her husband, and their three children love exploring the outdoors in their spare time.