Frugal Living and Crafting

Practicing The Art Of Living Frugally And Crafting Cheaply

Thrifty Fun: The Library!

library location

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I find this statement to be absolutely true.  When Hubs and I were planning our move to Columbus, we scouted out one of the local libraries before we even had a place to live.  Somewhere to sleep is nice and all but… BOOKS?  What about BOOKS?  We were sorely NOT disappointed in what we found.  Within a week of moving in, we had shiny new library cards.

We ended up only using the library briefly.  We got into other hobbies, such as spending too much money, wracking up debt, buying things we didn’t need and generally making poor decisions.  I mean, after all… why would we want to stop and check out a book for free when we could buy it instead?  Bonus points if we bought it and ended up hating it!

Eventually we did get our wits about us again, and one of the first things we started doing was visiting the library.  We were looking for free things to do and decided to go check out a different library from the one we had previously used, and that has been the one we have stuck with.



There are so many things at the library to take advantage of, much more than many people realize!  There are new releases to find the hot-off-the-presses-material lined up in bookstore windows…




Crafting books to find new frugal projects…


craft books


Cookbooks to find delicious new frugal meals to make for yourself and/or your family…



And frugal books to find tips about frugal living!




And of course the adults are not the only ones getting in on the thrifty fun action.  Most libraries now have large children’s sections, often creatively designed to be playlands filled with books.  I chose not to photograph much of the children’s section because there were children there, but here’s one shot, showing the whimsical bookshelves.


Kids Room


The teenagers are not left out either!  With the explosion of YA literature over the past few years, teens have really gotten into reading.  And no one, frugal parents included, would want to limit their kid’s reading, so bring them to the library and let them come out with an arm full of whatever appeals to them!


Next up is the area many people are either unaware of, or have low expectations of:  The media area.  Libraries are no longer just books.  Most libraries have come into the technology age with movies to rent on DVD, and BluRay at some libraries.  At our library, they carry a huge range of movies, from the newest releases to the oldest classics, fiction and nonfiction, kids movies, workout dvds, and everything in between.  Most libraries carry a wide variety of musical cds as well as audio books on cd also.


One quirky offering our library has is wall art.  Not sure that’s very common among libraries, but I think it’s neat you can check out wall art.  We never have but I could see how it might be nice to change things up!

wall art



Because popular things are popular, and sometimes people will beat you to the things you want, you will have to put things on hold, and wait for them to be returned.  {There is another use for the area — If you cannot immediately get to the library, put things on hold so they will be held for you until you are able to get there.}  The hold area…



As you can see, the library is a wonderland of free fun.  Books, movies, music, all free for the taking.  {And then for the returning.}  Obviously different libraries will have different offerings and this is just a smattering of what this particular library offers, but I would wager that most libraries would offer most of these categories.

Also, at most libraries there’s a very slightly less frugal section.  The section where books are sold.  Sometimes they are books donated by the public, sometimes they are books the library has decided to sell for one reason or another.  There are usually also movies and cds sold as well, though, at least at my library, those sell out very quickly.  You probably won’t find anything specific you are looking for, but if you take the time to look, you will probably find a real gem or two, and the prices can’t be beat.  At my library, the proceeds go to the Friends of the Library, and I can’t think of a much better cause.




The last thing I recommend checking is finding out if your local library offers classes and events.  Not all libraries do, but many libraries offer free classes for making crafts, historical lectures, author presentations, book groups, cookbook groups, and a whole host of other types of events.  Hubs and I {and occasionally some friends} have attended a number of the free events at the library and enjoyed each one immensely.  {Especially the one where I got to meet my favorite author, Susanna Kearsley.}

If you’re not currently a patron of your library, you should be.  There are so many fun things waiting for you there, and all for the cost of gas to drive to and fro.  Check it out!


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  1. This is going to sound so horrible: but I NEVER considered the fact that there might be frugal living tips at the library!!! Why didn’t I think of that? I LOVE this post!! 🙂

    • frugallivingandcrafting

      March 18, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Yup, there are indeed some frugal living tips there! It’s pretty handy dandy for that! And I’m so glad to hear you liked that post, thank you! 😀

  2. The library is such a fantastic resource! Our library occasionally hosts movie screenings (like before the release date!).

    Love the new blog look, so glad they helped you get it up and running! And you’re in Columbus??? I’m originally from Chillicothe. We’ll be moving back later this year 🙂

  3. I love all the different libraries around the Bay Area. They are so cool.

  4. I’m a librarian myself, and I love that you have invested in your local library! We work really hard to make sure we have great resources for our patrons (in New Zealand), and I’m sure it’s the same where you are.
    Great pictures of the resources, I love it!

    • frugallivingandcrafting

      March 21, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      I have absolutely no doubts that librarians are some of the hardest working people on the planet! And also undervalued by a lot of people. {Myself NOT included!} It’s great to know libraries in New Zealand have awesome librarians working just as hard as those we have here, making such a great place for the entire community! 😀

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