Life is finally starting to return to normal.  That means a lot of people will probably be looking to get their finances back to normal (or even better).  The good news is that with the ending of lockdown libraries are open again.  Here are just five of the ways they can save you money.

Read all you like for free

These days, libraries are about a whole lot more than “just” books.  That said, books are still pretty important.  Libraries can be particularly handy for picking up expensive books you need for a specific purpose (like textbooks).  They’re also great for readers who like to keep ringing in the new instead of constantly rereading the old (or who like a bit of both).

That said, libraries can be great places to buy books at bargain prices.  You can then read them at your leisure and either keep them or pass them on.  Prices are generally low enough that this is fun rather than painful.

Of course, reading doesn’t just stop at books or even just at ebooks and audiobooks.  Most libraries now have a good stock of newspapers, magazines and comics.  In fact, you can often get a choice between paper and digital versions.  This can be a huge saving.

Borrow other resources

If you have a proper computer (as opposed to just a tablet), then there’s a good chance you have an optical drive.  At the very least, you should have a port where you can attach one.  If you don’t, then you can pick up CD/DVD players and some games consoles at very low prices.  Then you can borrow the titles you want from your local library.

Realistically, you’re unlikely to get the latest and greatest chart titles this way.  You can, however, get a lot of “just-off-the-boil” titles along with evergreen classics.  What’s more, the fact that you’re only taking out what you need and keeping it for as long as you need it means that storage is less likely to be an issue.

Get educated

Libraries will often put on talks, workshops and classes either for free or at very low prices.  They’ll also tend to have information about what else is on in the area.  Prior to COVID19, libraries tended to focus on real-world events, although they often had online resources as well.

It will be interesting to see what happens post-pandemic.  Possibly, libraries will go back to focussing on real-world events.  Possibly, they’ll start running more digital ones.  There’s a good chance they may start live streaming and/or recording real-world events and putting them online for people who can’t attend.

Keep the kids happy

Parents around the UK are probably jumping for joy at the fact that they no longer have sole responsibility for entertaining their children.  The reopening of facilities for children is a cause for celebration.  Realistically, however, it’s also, often, a cause for expense.  Libraries, however, offer a whole lot of entertainment for absolutely zero cost.

It isn’t just the books (games, CDs and DVDs).  Libraries often have extensive programs of events for children.  Parents may need to stick around while they’re in progress but they can generally get on with what they want to do while they wait.

Have a new home office

The government may think that we’re all going back to the office.  Many people, however, think otherwise.  If you fancy passing on the commute but don’t want to be stuck at home all day, a library could be a great option.  They tend to be open during regular working hours and are warm, quiet and free.

Libraries can also be useful as a Plan B to cover any times you need to vacate your home office.  You can usually get WiFi there and you may even be able to plug in a laptop.

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