#Saving money: Your local Library, a hidden gem

The local library is one of the most under utilize resource available to you for FREE. In my county in Florida, any resident can sign up for a library card; all you need to a valid ID. My library card allows me to checkout physical materials, including books, DVDs, music CDs and audiobooks in a variety of formats and attend classes and programs.

I can get the materials physically or I can order via their website for delivery by mail to my home. I return the material at a branch location. The selection of books is vast. I have been hard pressed not to find a bookstore available book; not available within the library. If my local branch does not have a book, I usually can find it and it’s availability via the library’s website. You can either go get it or have it delivered to you via the US Post Office.

I have been getting in Audiobooks and eBooks lately. This is where the library shines. They have a huge selection. I am fine with a physical book, eBook or Audiobook and as such I have been able to find every book I have been interested in one of the several forms with one exception, “The 7 Day Startup”.

Audiobooks and eBooks are available through two apps: Hoopla and Overdrive. I do not know why the library has two apps for their electronic access. Even stranger, both apps do not usually have the same books available. I find that Overdrive has a larger selection of the library’s eBooks, while Hoopla has a larger selection of their Audiobooks and electronic entertainment.

If you have an Amazon kindle, you can also borrow books to your kindle via the library. You will need an Amazon account and a Kindle of course. I prefer borrowing books electronically because most time I forget to return books and get hit with late fees. The Audiobooks and eBooks you borrow are automatically returned once you hit the due date so no late fees.

In addition to books, the library gives me access to movies on DVDs and musics on CDs. You can also get the music, TV shows and movies through the Hoopla and Overdrive apps. I have not taken advantage of the TV and movie selection but I have used the music catalog extensively. I regularly borrow Reggae, Old School Hip-Hop as well as R&B. I was surprised that Bruno Mars latest album “24K Magic” was available. I have found Hoopla to have the larger selection. The TV shows and movie selection available trough the apps is usually older and limited. You will have better luck getting newer shows and movies as DVDs from your local branch.

I have never done any of the classes available through the library but a quick search of the website shows that they have extensive classes in technology including programming and website development. You can learn Python programming, HTML, WordPress and etc.

Your local library is a valuable resource supported by your tax dollars. Do not let it go to waste. I have saved a lot of money by using the library.

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