6 Things You Can Get for FREE with Your Library Card

You can do a lot more at libraries than just check out books—follow these tips for surprising ways to save

Save with library cards: stack of books

Don't just let your library card sit in the back of your wallet collecting dust—make the most of it by taking advantage of all that libraries have to offer. Call your public library (or visit it on the Web) to see if it provides these no-charge services.

1) Free Internet: Trying to cut back on unnecessary spending? Maybe you can ditch your Internet service. Most libraries provide access to computers and the Web—great for job seekers and kids who are researching a school project.

2) Free Delivery: Some libraries bring items to housebound, disabled and elderly cardholders at no charge.

3) Free Tech Support: Many libraries offer training on basic computer skills and how to search the Internet, and most give informal technical assistance. So before you pay a store or a manufacturer, take your questions to a trained librarian.

4) Free E-Books: If you have made the switch from print to electronic, you might be able to borrow e-books on your library’s website. Don’t have an e-reader? Before you add it to your holiday wish list, ask if you can check one out and give it a try.

5) Free Test Prep: Forget paying for a pricey tutor. The majority of libraries now offer online access to subscription databases for practice standardized tests such as the SAT and GRE, as well as other helpful online homework resources.

6) Free Entertainment: Whether it’s for a random Tuesday night or a few weeks over the holidays, when you need to entertain your children for less, head to the library. You probably can find movies and TV shows on DVD, puzzles and games—even passes to local museums.

Source: Marcia Warner, president of the Public Library Association