The Benefits of Getting a Library Card

One of the best ways to save money on entertainment is to get a library card. There are many benefits of getting a library card. You can avoid building up clutter in your home, enjoy good books, music, and movies, and do it all for a very small amount of money or even free.

What Does a Library Offer?

A library is especially great if you like to read, but don’t often read the same book twice. I used to buy books but found I wasn’t reading them more than once. I was also running out of room on my bookcase! I do still like to get nice reference books as I’ll go back to them occasionally, and it’s nice to have them for the kids. (However, you can find almost anything you want online now. Even the Encyclopaedia Britannica no longer prints its volumes.)

LibraryLibraries also offer internet access, DVDs, CDs and magazines. Some even offer video game rentals. Many have web sites for searching their catalogue and placing holds on books, this may also include bringing books in from other libraries in their local network. This means that you can fulfill of your entertainment needs with one trip to the library. There’s no need to buy movies when you can just get one from the library. And, if you have a Kindle or other e-reader, you are still covered. Many libraries offer digital rentals as well.

Your local library might also provide a number of free and low-cost community and educational activities. You can attend workshops and lectures, and many libraries offer story time for the kids. This is a great way to instill a love of learning in your children, while giving them a fun outing.

Cost of Joining a Library

In many municipalities, it isn’t completely free to join a library. It costs $12 for one year here in Edmonton, while other places it can cost a bit more for yearly use. Other cities require a one-time fee to join. Many towns offer library use for free, even though technically it’s hard to say that the usage is truly free, since libraries are supported by your tax dollars.

Even at $12 a year, though, the library card fee pays for itself as soon as you read one or two books, or watch a movie. The library is one of those things that is well worth what is paid in taxes, and what you pay for your library membership.

Other Benefits of Getting a Library Card

There are non-financial benefits that come with going to the library. It serves as a public meeting place, and it can be a great place to socialize. Additionally, you have a great deal of knowledge around you. You can learn how to learn, without relying entirely on the computer. Another great benefit is that actually going to the library can encourage your to read more. I find I’m reading more than I would have when I was buying books. I get in a routine of returning a book and picking up another on the same trip so I always have something to read!

Written by Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of Canadian Finance Blog. While you’re here, consider signing up for the RSS feed or email subscription. Both deliver the latest articles directly to you! You can also follow me on Twitter for all the latest posts or to send me any comments or questions!

7 Responses to The Benefits of Getting a Library Card

  1. Your local librarian is a great resource for many types of research, too. They can point in the direction of resources in the community and online as well as items in the library’s collection.

    We are lucky to have a well-funded library system – free access and minimal late fines – YEAH.

  2. I have recently advocated the same concept, so naturally I agree.

    Some public libraries are truly outstanding. The value you get for the time and effort to visit can be outstanding. My local public library offers most of the top current bestsellers, as well as a ton of magazines and other periodicals. Well worth going there as opposed to paying $10 to $25 per book, especially if you truly enjoy reading.

    My library card was free, and the facility is very close to where I live, so the way I see it, there is little to lose and a ton to gain by visiting the library.

  3. This is a great idea. Our family all got our own library card this year. I thought only the kids would love going and taking out books, however we all enjoyed it. The cost of books is very expensive, the library is the best way to go, and you can also get movies and video games!

  4. The rural libraries in my part of Ontario all offer free internet with computer time and assistance for non-computer people.

    The library staff can help people to send an email or research a topic online or help a grandpa set up a Facebook account so he can message grandchildren.

    Not everyone has a computer or access to the internet and our libraries help fill that gap.

  5. I love my library card. They are free here unless you lose it then it costs you $2 to replace it. The libraries have free wifi, 15 – 45 computers depending on the library, regular author talks, movies, games and magic shows in school holidays as well as an entire educational toy library where you can borrow toys.

    My kids pick DVD’s and books they like as well and they love spending time there.

  6. Here in Phoenix it’s something like $10 for a new card. After that, you’re set. (Unless you, say, lose your card. Ahem.) Our branch is only about two miles from us, which is lovely. I do wish it had a little more to offer, but then you just get things shipped from other ones. And I love the online offerings. It’s an app, where you can get Phoenix or surrounding areas. All the ease of an ebook without having to pay for one. And guaranteed no overdue fees!

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