The Public Library: Where Borrowing Is Greener Than Buying

Photo by Kleiobird.

Does the promise of free books, music, and movies pique your interest?  Then grab your library card and check out your public library!

As someone who has spent huge chunks of her life pouring over books in a library, I am always surprised by the number of people who do not know about the offerings of today’s public libraries.

Many libraries are making great strides to provide (at no cost aside from late fines) what the public wants.  Offerings often include the following:

  • Bestseller and classic fiction and nonfiction books
  • Current and classic DVDs and CDs
  • AudioBooks on CD and cassette
  • Downloadble AudioBooks and eBooks
  • WiFi internet access on-site

Right now, I am borrowing a recently published vegan cookbook, a new independent movie (Easy Virtue), a copy of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, and a new soundtrack CD from the New York Public Library.  As an added bonus, while I enjoy browsing the stacks and discovering new things, my library (like many libraries) allows users to request an item online and then emails them when the item is ready for pickup.

Even if I end up having to wait a little longer to obtain a copy of a current bestseller or new movie or if I have to pay a late fine occasionally – and I will confess that this happens more frequently than I would like – borrowing from the library is greener and cheaper than buying new by a mile.

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  1. It’s amazing how much there is to do at libraries today that people don’t realize. Definitely one of the most productive places to hang out. I get most of my work done at libraries.

    Till then,


  2. I too am a big fan of libraries and get most of my books from there. I do invest in buying a few – but this is typically after I have already read it from the library and liked it so much I want to keep a copy on hand at all times.

    Obviously music-wise there are lots of choices now thanks to the internet. For example I listen to a range of digital radio stations online, and then when I find tracks that I like I purchase them through iTunes so no packaging is wasted.

  3. Yes, we tend to forget the range provided by modern libraries. We’re so used to googling at home and using only a home PC or laptop that frankly I straight out forget that libraries exist! Must awaken to the Modern Library in this Digital Age. G.

  4. It has been far too long since I went to the library. My problem is that I am a slow reader and I don’t get around to it much. So I would have to renew a book several times to finish it. In all that time I usually end up damaging the book too. So it’s not a very good fit for me. I have heard that some libraries even loan out computer games now.

  5. I love the library. It’s strange how I used to hate it as a child growing up. It is just a wealth of information, just like the internet.

  6. Reading them on an ipad is even greener.

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