Jess Reiche

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Frugal Summer Fun Series: Libraries Part 1

Anyone that knows me and my family knows that we practically live at our local libraries. When you’re a stay at home mom with 1 income and 2 kids all of those adorable (yet expensive) programs aren’t really an option. However, that doesn’t mean there are no program options for us thanks to our library system. I will cover more about that tomorrow in Part 2.

Today, we’re talking general library awesomeness.

I don’t know where you’re reading from, therefore I do not know what your library system is like. But if you’re in the Mid-Hudson Library System I can tell you what an amazing group you are a part of. First, check out ALL of the locations you can visit and use your library card! It amazes me that where I live, I can go to 5 different libraries with only a 20 minute drive. Each library has different books, videos, toys, games, activities, groups and programs. I love visiting the old buildings and exploring the history of the library system as new and old collide in one location.

Here are a few things you can do this summer in your library:

1 – Explore the different areas of the library. If you usually go to the same sections, check out a new one with your kids. Teach them about how the library works and how to find books on all different topics, not just fiction kids books. Find a topic they’re interested in and check out some books! Not really sure HOW things work yourself? Talk to the librarian and ask for some help or even a tour 🙂

2 – Check out the videos and movies. Plan a movie day or night where the kids pick the entertainment. Find a family friendly flick or a date night movie for you and your spouse. In my libraries I’ve noticed videos on cooking, documentaries, animals, and more – think outside of the box! I’ve even borrowed exercise videos to get the family in shape.

3 – Play! In most kids areas you’ll find toys, puzzles, books and more. Bring your kids to the library and give them the freedom to explore. Many even have computer games especially for kids. Let them meet the children’s librarian and ask for help finding a book. In my family, my 2 year old only wants to read books about Blue’s Clues and Elmo — so I’ve taught him to ask for help finding them. It’s a fun little game for the kids and the librarians usually love helping eager readers!

4 – Computers, Coupons, Magazines and more. Thinking beyond kids – there are great resources in the library for adults too. Many have computer areas that you can get online and print items for a small fee. Many also have copy machines if that’s a need for you. My library allows you to check out old editions of magazines and newspapers and read the current ones while you’re at the library. They even just started a coupon exchange box – perfect for saving money this summer! Ask your library if they have these things and maybe request it if they don’t. You never know if you don’t ask.

5 – Borrow CDs and video games. Seriously. My libraries don’t actually have a section for video games (yet) but the Mid Hudson Library System does have video games available to borrow! Check out the music section and borrow music from some of your favorite artists. It’s a great way to listen to new music before purchasing it. Most even have kid music, making for a great alternative to having a video on in your living room (or car).

6 – Audiobooks. Many times we don’t just sit around reading, especially with kids home. But if you can find a family friendly audiobook, you have entertainment for the family wherever a CD player is available. We listen in the car and use the Xbox or Blu-Ray player to play them in the house.

**Looking for something specific or wondering how to borrow video games, CDs and audiobooks when your library doesn’t have them? Use the online system! It’s seriously a fun activity in itself. Login (or create a login) and start searching around the system. You can borrow anything from any library in the whole system and have it shipped to your local library.


Does your library have anything I haven’t mentioned! Comment below! And Part 2 is coming tomorrow – make sure to check back or subscribe!

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