Checking out books is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving money by using the library. Right now is a great time to check out your local library. The summer reading programs just started and libraries in Broward and Miami-Dade County are offering free lunches to kids under 18 years old. I’ve highlighted some familiar ways, as well as some unexpected ways that the library can save you money.
- Borrow before Buying. New books and magazines are expensive. Check out a book or magazine before dishing out money to buy one. This really comes in handy while attending college. I was able to check out many books for free that I needed for school instead of buying them. Some college classes require 5 of more books, check to see if the library has one before you buy!
- Borrow DVDs and CDs. Companies like OnDemand, Netflix and Redbox makes it easy to watch or buy a movie. But did you know the library also has many of these same movies to borrow for FREE? Newer releases typically have a wait list, it’s easiest to check your libraries online database to reserve your copy.
- Take a Class such as a dance class, cooking class, computer class or fitness class, offered for FREE through your local library. If you have a little one you can check out a Toddler and preschool story time class. Just last year alone the Miami Dade Public Library offered over 7,000 free classes to its residents.
- Free WiFi. The library offers free Wi-Fi to its card holders. You can also schedule time on one of their computers, use a scanner or check out a laptop.
- Win some Prizes! The 2013 Summer Reading program has started, but it’s not too late to get in on the action! For every two hours you read, you can enter to win a prize, Prizes include electronics, gift cards, attraction tickets and even a Miami Dolphins VIP Training Camp Experience! There are separate reading programs for children, teens and adults.
- Free Lunch is being offered to children less than 18 years this summer made possible by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Be sure to check with your library to see if they are participating, and for which days. You do not need to register, but it is first come first serve. Read more about the Miami-Dade Public library free lunch program here.
- Check out a Museum Pass! There are limited museum passes offered each week that get you and your family (up to 4 people) in for FREE to area museums such as the Miami Children’s Museum and the Miami Science museum! Read more about it here.
- Save Gas, download an eBook. No need to drive to your local library.You can download an eBook instantly from your home computer or device. It takes only a few seconds to find a title and start reading. Did you know that you can download 3 free songs per week as well as free mobile apps for registered card holders? Also, if you see any items you want to check out on the online database, you can request the item to be sent to your nearest library, no need to drive to another, further location.
- Attend an Event. The library has many free events throughout the year, including shows, concerts and book signings.
- Free Tutoring. Many libraries offer free tutoring for students as well as adult literacy classes and English classes.
To learn more about what your local library has to offer, check out the Miami-Dade Public Library and the Broward County Library websites.