Want to save money? Head to the library

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A friend recently shared a blog with me about the amount of money the average person saves by using the library. The author selected six of his local library’s digital services and estimated what the average person in the district spent per year on things like online courses, magazine subscriptions, foreign language learning software, tutoring/ advice, TV, movies and music.

I don’t know how much money you spend every year on those things, but that stuff can really add up. Off the top of my head, I thought of more than a dozen free services that folks can get with their library card instead of their debit card. I’ll share just a few of them.

• Books and eBooks. Borrowing instead of buying them saves you money. Plus you don’t have to buy more book shelves. With OverDrive, get a constant supply of eBooks and an added perk: no fines. OverDrive eBooks return themselves at the end of the lending period. How much could you save in books, eBooks, shelves and fines?

• TV, movies and music. Entertainment can easily nickel and dime a budget away with music downloads or subscriptions, cable/ satellite TV, Netflix and Red Box. Instead, visit ebonnerlibrary.org with your library card and stream TV shows and movies with Hoopla. Get five free music downloads every month and stream music on Freegal. Both have a great selection of new releases and classics. You can also borrow CDs, DVDs and Blu Ray discs. Just about the time you get tired of them, you can return them and get something else. If you love them, you know where to get them again. We even have TV series for marathon Star Trek nights and such.

• Classes, tutors and apps. I get those advertisements for day-long workshops on Microsoft Excel, Adobe Illustrator and others all the time. In addition to the time away from work and gas to get there, these courses usually cost $50-$200. The Learning Express Library on our website offers courses on Micro-soft Excel, Pub-lisher, Outlook, Power Point, Word and more, along with Adobe Illus-trator and others. We also offer such basic computer classes in-house and have tech tutors for help with using electronic devices. Mango Lang-uages has a free mobile app and is a fun way to learn one or more of the 70-plus languages available. In addition to the myriad of tutorials and courses accessible from our website, you can also get help for academic studies, test preparation and job search advice through our Life Long Learning department.

How much did you figure you could save in just these three areas?

• Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 — Clark Fork Used Book and Media Sale, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Clark Fork Branch Library, 601 Main. Great deals for a great cause – the Clark Fork Friends of the Library. Info: 266-1321.

• Saturday, Oct. 28 — Computer class on Microsoft Word basics, 8:15 a.m. sharp at the Sandpoint Branch Library, 1407 Cedar. Sharpen your marketable job skills or simply learn how to use Microsoft Word to write letters and create a variety of documents. Preregistration required 263-6930.

• Saturday, Oct. 28 — Organic Gardening and Seed Saving, 1 p.m., at the Sandpoint branch library, 1407 Cedar. A community conversation about organic gardening and seed saving techniques.

• Tuesday, Oct. 31 — Preschool Story Time. 11 a.m. at Creations. Stories and crafts for kids 2-5 years old. The library’s Story Times will be at Creations on the Cedar St. Bridge for a while due to the construction project. Info: suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Tuesday, Oct. 31 — Mindstorm Robotics, 3 p.m. at the Clark Fork branch library, 601 Main. Kids 8-plus learn to code with Lego Mindstorm.

• Wednesday, Nov. 1 — Clark Fork Stories and More, 10:30 a.m. Stories and more is back after taking a few weeks off. Kids and their caregivers enjoy story time, songs, snacks, and crafts at the Clark Fork branch library, 601 Main.

• Wednesday, Nov. 1 — Make It at the Library, 2 p.m. at the Clark Fork branch library. Tweens and teens make a variety of STEAM projects. Info: 266-1321.

• Friday, Nov. 3 — Teen Writers Club, 3:30 p.m. at the Sandpoint branch library, 1407 Cedar. Young writers of all writing platforms are invited to drop in for collaboration, writing prompt activities, and refreshments. For more info, contact Morgan at 263-6930 ext. 1245 or morgan@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• StoryWalk —Take the family on a special Back to School StoryWalk! At Dover City Park, read “School’s First Day of School” by Adam Rex. At McNearney Park in Ponderay, enjoy “Wemberly Worried” by Kevin Henkes. For more information, visit www.ebonnerlibrary.org or call Suzanne Davis, Children’s Services Librarian, 263-6930 ext. 1211 or suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Clark Fork Autumn Reading Program — Earn silent auction “bucks” when you log your reading between September and December. For all ages at the Clark Fork library, 601 Main St. Info: 266-1321.

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