As a mom on a budget, I’ve found many ways to save money. Cloth diapers, for one, but being able to provide my guys with entertainment and learning experiences is really important to me, too. That’s why I quickly learned how much my local library has to offer.
Babies have great opportunities for lap time, then storytimes as toddlers. (If you are in St. Louis, check out story time at Cotton Babies!) When they start reading, the library is a great way to get new books without spending a fortune, especially on a series they may not be too sure about. For emerging readers or those who need a little extra boost, there are usually “learn to read” kits. Check out the teen area and events if that’s the stage you’re in now.
And libraries aren’t just for books. We’ve checked out many a DVD and even a video game here and there.
Other services provided by libraries:
Small business resources
Tax preparation resources
Space for meetings
Test prep and proctors
Our local library also has free passes to museums and other local family venues as well as a backpack you can check out for free admission to state parks. One of my favorite experiences ever was meeting my boys’ favorite author at a library book signing.
Be sure to take advantage of all the online benefits your library card has to offer, including online renewals and reminders. If you would like to check out a popular title you can request that title to be held for you and they’ll email you when it’s ready. I was recently reminded that our library card includes access to many digital movies, books, magazines, and more.
Librarians are also a wealth of knowledge especially when it comes to learning what services your library has to offer and what books your children might be interested in. Many a librarian suggestion has become my son’s favorite book.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Request a purchase! All you need is a little info about the book you’d like them to purchase like the publication date and ISBN number which you can find online.
To get a library card you usually need one form of identification like a driver’s license plus proof of residency, like a recent bill with your local address and name.
We have saved so much money by fully utilizing our local libraries and our lives have been enriched by them. Have fun exploring your local library!