The Value of Your Library


Yesterday, I wrote about how using an Alberta public library is an efficient use of resources because of the sharing of items in the collection.

Using a library isn’t just efficient, it’s cost effective for you. Let’s look at a simple example. Instead of buying a DVD that you’re only going to watch once or twice and blowing $25, borrow it from the library. Do that just once a month for the year and you’ve saved $300, and who couldn’t use an extra 300 after-tax dollars in their pockets?

For an investment of $5 to $20, depending on the individual library, you can gain access to the entire collection of that public library and most of the collections of the other Alberta Public Libraries. Combined, the entire collection numbers in the millions. Included in the collections are eBooks, DVDs, MP3 music files, CDs, print and electronic magazines, print books, and electronic resources such as the Auto Repair Reference Center, Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, and Mango Languages.

The potential savings are huge!

Not only can you save money on your entertainment expenses with a public library, you can learn new skills and solve costly problems around your home and in your life with the information you can get from the library for free!

Want to be able to speak enough Spanish (or French or German) to function on your next holiday? Try Mango Languages; it’s a great way to learn and practice a language right at home.

Trying to figure out the strange noise your car is making, without the consultation fee from your mechanic? Try the Auto Repair Reference Center. It explains vehicle problems in plain language. If you like to get your hands dirty, the Auto Repair Reference Center will even provide the information and diagrams necessary for you to make the repairs yourself.

In addition, public libraries love to hear from patrons, especially with requests for items that should be added to the collection. So, become a member and you can suggest that the library add that DVD you’ve been dying to watch.

Below is a Library Value Calculator. Plug in how many things (eBooks, magazines, movies, and print books) you borrow in a month, or a year, and see what kind of value you’re getting from your library.

Don’t use the library at all? Try entering the number of books, movies, magazines and other stuff that you buy, instead of borrow from the library, and see how much you could be saving.

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