How using the library can help you save money

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: EMILY STEWART
Borrowing books is just one way you can save money from using the library.

Arthur Reid was right when he said “Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card”.

Libraries are an underrated way to explore your hobbies, add to your skill set and save money. The London Public Library and its 16 branches and Fanshawe College’s Library and Media Services provide lots of services and items that are budget-friendly.

Grow your ‘to read’ book pile. Starting the list is the most well-known option for using libraries. Checking out books and e-books from the library is a great way to cut down costs, especially if your books tend to collect dust on your shelf after the first read.

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Give back, take an item. The Stop ‘N’ Swap program at Fanshawe allows students to donate a non-perishable item for the Sharing Shop in exchange for an item that’s leaving the physical collection. Dawn Gratton, the assistant to the director of Library and Media Services, said in an email to Interrobang that this initiative is expected run until April 2020.

Build your portfolio. Fanshawe offers many practical programs meeting industry standards to help students kick-start their career. Often, students pursuing creative industries like photography, journalism, and film will need extra equipment for their projects.

Students can check out cameras, tripods, microphones, and more from Fanshawe’s Library and Media Services any time they’re in a pinch for their projects. Borrowing equipment from the College is also a great way to try industry standard equipment and decide what you want to purchase after graduating.

With the price of each item listed on the yellow sign out sheets, you also get a rough idea of how much you want to budget for your own equipment.

Marathon your new favourite movie and TV show. The London Public Library offers a selection of movies and TV shows by the season on DVD for free.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s best that you place a hold one season at a time. It’s so easy to think you’re going to binge-watch the entirety of Game of Thrones until your hold for Season Five comes in long before your hold for Season Two.

In addition to physical DVDs, Fanshawe’s Library and Media Services lists several video streaming resources on their website.

Spin that record. Along with books and DVDs, the London Public Library offers a wide selection of CDs for you to enjoy in your spare time.

These days, there are many music streaming options, offering an unlimited amount of music for a monthly fixed price. However, if you’re like me and you still buy physical albums, listening to CDs from the library can help you decide if the album everyone is talking about is worth the purchase.

If you drive to and from campus, have a car with a CD player, and need new music to listen to, borrowing music from the library is a great way to do that.

Get your game on. The College offers a selection of video games for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One at no cost to students or staff. Games found on the Library and Media Services website’s catalogue include Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kingdom Hearts III, and NHL 19.

Certain London Public Library locations offer free board games to check out. The selection of games depends on the branch in your neighbourhood, but it’s a good way to try out a new board game at your next game night.

Speaking of game nights, Gratton said Fanshawe’s Library and Media Services also hosts Board Game Nights. She also said students can book rooms to play Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games on the big screen.

Unleash your creativity. The Labs at the London Public Library, as noted on the library’s website, can be found at the Central Branch’s second floor and are a great way to explore your creative side. Between drop-in classes on subjects like robotics and photography, machines for low-cost button making, vinyl cutting, and 3D printing, an iMac with Adobe Creative Cloud, and a Memory Lab where you can digitize personal archives, the Labs can help you start and finish those creative projects you’ve always wanted to pursue.

Don’t want to leave campus to try 3D printing? You can try it at Fanshawe’s library as well.

Don’t forget your due dates! In order to ensure you do, in fact, save money, keep track of your due dates every time you check out an item and return the materials on time.

To save time for several of these selections at the London Public Library, check out the catalogue at and place a hold. Visit to find out everything your on-campus library has to offer.