When you think of a library, what comes to mind? Books? Is that it?
I use to be the same way. I use to think libraries were just for books. After all, that is the first thing that catches your eye when you walk into one, rows and rows of books. And while the site of thousands of books at your disposable may be enough to warrant a visit from you, what is even more exciting is the many other offerings your local library has for you just for the asking. Libraries these days seem to be obtaining grants and funds for a variety of other goods and services as well. These goods and services are often free, but sadly, often overlooked.
Have you checked out your local library lately? Here are a few free or inexpensive services and programs that may be available!
1. Special Interest Clubs- Ask your librarian if any special interest clubs are held at your library. Garden clubs, reading clubs, and book clubs for kids are often available as well and a chance for them to earn free rewards for their reading efforts. Why not check and see if your local library has a COUPON CLUB for you to join?
2. Educational Toy Rental- Many libraries offer free check out of educational toys, games and puzzles. Surprise your child with a new-to-them toy to explore! Once they tire of it, return it and try a new one.
3. Daily Newspapers, local and national- Libraries offer a variety of daily newspapers including the coveted Sunday paper. Your library may even allow you to take day old copies (and coupons!) home with you. Please ask first. They are usually willing to allow you, you just want to have permission.
4. Budget Book Sales- Libraries will often sell their overstock or used books for just pennies. This is a great way to pick up children’s books for your home library, books and magazines for yourself. You can also buy them and donate them to your child’s classroom, local shelter, or just start making your own home library.
Related: 10 Places to Find Cheap Kids Books
5. Movie/Music Rental- Video games, dvds, cds, and computer games are all available at your local library. Books on CD are a great treat for children in the car! Items for children are typically free of charge, as are audio rentals or instructional dvd’s. Dvd’s for adults are a nominal fee, usually less than $1 per day, which is less than you would pay to rent from a store or other service.
6. Free Ticket Rental- Are you wanting to check out your local museum? Many libraries offer free tickets to local museums if you just ask. Tickets may only be available to use during certain days of the week but for free, you can be flexible, right? Usually, one ticket is valid for 4 people, so you can really save.
7. Free Computer Classes- Want to learn how to use your computer? Why not ask your library if they offer free technology classes? In addition to these free classes, laptops are often available for on-site check out as well as a printer for a nominal fee. This is a great way to print extra coupons or activities for kids.
Related: 10+ Educational Websites for Kids
8. Craft Time for Kids- Libraries may hold a special day each week just for kids where a read aloud is held accompanied by a craft. These are often free and a great way to meet other moms while your child experiences some great literature and hands on activities.
Did you know all of these wonderful services exist? These are just a few of the many wonderful benefits your library may have to offer! Taking advantage of these offers can save you some serious dough in the long run. Not to mention that libraries are wonderfully quiet and serene places to enjoy these free services at.
Perhaps you do not know where your closest library is. Use this site to find one fast! www.publiclibraries.com It lists all of the libraries categorized by states for easy searching. Once you have found a library in your area, you can click on the link and be directed to their own website. Websites will display many of the special offers that library has available as well as a calendar of events, hours, special events, and everything else you need to know. You might be able to reserve materials as well.
So check out your local library today and start enjoying everything it has to offer for FREE!