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Your local library can be one of your best friends on your frugal journey, whether you’re a family, married couple or single person. For instance, did you know that many libraries now have an online catalog that allows you to sit at home and order books, CDs or movies from any library anywhere in the county and have them delivered right to your neighborhood branch to pick up? So, why pay to rent DVDs when the latest movies can be ordered online for free from the library and ready to pick up within a couple days? Here are some ways our local library has helped save us money:

  • Checking out books instead of buying them. Did you know that even if none of your local libraries have the book you’re looking for, they can probably get it for you from anywhere in the country through an inter-library loan?
  • Borrowing movies instead of renting or buying them.
  • Testing CDs before deciding to buy.
  • Consumer research–We’ve utilized the reference department for research on everything from car seats to replacement windows. The best part is they know exactly where to look for the information, which saves you time.
  • ELF Backpacks–This is another great program by our local library (Massillon Public Library). ELF stands for Early Learning Fun, and the backpacks contained themed activities for families of pre-schoolers. They usually contain a book or two, toys and a suggested activity sheet for parents on the theme of the backpack.  We LOVE these. They’re educational and it’s like bringing a new toy home every time we go!
  • Educational activities–what kid doesn’t love story time?

I contacted our local library, The Massillon Public Library, and here are a few of the ideas their staff offered of how your local library can save you money:

  • Free entertainment such as live jazz concerts, family movie night, video game nights and teen craft club, to name a few.
  • Paperback Trade Rack
  • Free computer use and classes.
  • Homework help.
  • Downloadable books and e-books.

Check with your local library to see what unique services they offer. The most unique I’ve heard of is at the library in Ravenna, Ohio, where you can borrow cake pans!

If you haven’t visited your local library lately, dust off your card and head on over to see what services they offer that could help save you money. If you’re a loyal library patron, share with other readers how your local library has helped save you money or the unique services they offer by posting a comment below.

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