New money-saving options at your local library


Libraries lend much more than just books these days. Image: Flickr / stevecadman / CC-BY-SA

When economic times are tough, the number of visitors at local libraries spikes. Library services have been growing to meet this increased demand, and most local libraries offer free services many patrons don’t even know about.

Magazines and periodicals

The magazine subscriptions that can cost hundreds of dollars per year are probably available at your local library. Even if the library does not have a physical copy of the periodical you would like to read, it likely has a subscription to an online service that provides electronic copies of most magazines. Canceling your magazine subscriptions could save you a bundle.

Job search services

Many libraries offer services that are an extension of unemployment offices. These can include job counciling, inexpensive copies and job search programs.

Audiobooks and videos

Rather than paying for a Netflix subscription or audiobook service, try borrowing audiobooks and videos from your local library. The free services may have a different selection than you are used to, but the free entertainment cannot be beat.

Power Tools

In larger cities, so-called “tool libraries” offer lending services for large power tools that cost thousands of dollars on their own or hundreds to rent from a home-improvement store. Show your ID and library card, sign out the tools, use and return when you are done.

Financial planning and tax services

Especially around tax season, many libraries offer tax-preparing services from volunteer CPAs and financial planners. Even if it is not tax season, just asking for help at a local library will usually get you connected with someone willing to offer their services.

Meeting rooms and space

If you are looking for meeting rooms, meeting space, or even a room to just study in, a local library is often there to help. You may need to reserve larger meeting rooms in advance, but having a space to meet for free or very inexpensively can save your group several hundred dollars per event.


Colorado Department of Education
At Your Library
Naperville Public Library (
Tool-lending libraries

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