Sunday, February 19

Love the Library

Today's lesson in frugal living is of a slightly different nature than many of the other tips. Looking for something to do? Go visit the library. Assuming it isn't too difficult to get there, and that your community actually has one, there is probably no other frugal activity with such a strategic importance.

In particular, if you have children, taking them to the library and getting them familiar with it will pay you big dividends. It is generally a semi-supervised setting that allows them to peruse newspapers, magazines, books and most likely use computers to access the Internet. As long as they are able to find something of interest, it will cost a lot less than shopping at the mall, going out for food, buying videos or seeing a movie. The best part is, developing an affinity for reading has a very strong correlation to later success in life.

If you don't have children, the same money saving reasons apply, but only for yourself. Just make sure to return anything you borrow on time, late fees are not a good way to practice frugality.

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Jenn said...

I am a read-a-holic, so I use the library all the time. Ours also has a free magazine exchange at the front door where you can drop off ones you've read and pick up new ones.

I love taking the kids to the library here for several reasons.

#1-you can borrow kids videos-for free-for a week. So you only have to watch that "blues clues" video for a week straight, then oops, sorry, it has to go back to the library. See-it not only saves you money, but it can save your sanity.

#2-my local library has a "children's" computer. It is a regular computer that is loaded with a bunch of kids games. So I can take the kids their and let them play on the computer for 30 min at a time and don't have to worry about them crashing mine (my kids are 2 & 4)

#3-They have a kids corner with puzzles and coloring books etc to keep kids occupied.

#4-they have a story hour for kids.

We used to move a lot (X-military) and in previous libraries we have even been able to take computer programs out. I've heard in some of my online forums that some libraries also have toy loan programs and even art loan programs.

Did I mention I love the library :)

Anonymous said...

Just one tip- do not simply drop off small children at the library. I work in one, and many, many parents drop off their kids and leave. It's not so much that we are not a babysitting service (which people often treat us as- that's annoying too) it's more about the safety of the kids.

You would not BELIEVE the pervs who hang out in libraries. We often get a lot of homeless mentally ill people as well who stay during the day. (I don't mind as long as they are not doing anything.)

Last year we had a man who kept exposing himself. It took about a month before he was caught. I worry about what could happen to children in such a big place with lots of places out of the staff's vision and a small staff who are often trapped behind the desk.

So yes,libraries are wonderful- just don't leave your children there alone!

ChangeMe said...

Hey, great notes, thanks!

Disney loving Frugal Mom said...

I am a 10 min walk from the library and have been making great use of it. Right now I am reading Frugal for Dummies. A lot of it I know but there are some good things in there too.

I loved reading your blog very interesting and funny at times too.