By Nico Hohman
While it may be 2015, there are still several reasons you should get your own library card. Whether you’re a business owner, inventor, designer, employee, student, or retired, your local public library has many resources at your disposal – and almost all of them are free. Benjamin Franklin founded the United States’ public library system almost 200 years ago, but here are eight reasons why the library is still relevant today.
When you’re consumed with everything you have to do as a real estate practitioner, it can be hard to find time to read a book. This is where audiobooks come in handy. Download the free audiobook using your library card from your audiobook app (also downloaded for free with your library card) onto your phone or tablet and listen on the go. Plug-in during a car ride and listen to a chapter or two while you’re traveling between showings. Plug-in while you exercise. Instead of listening to the same 10 songs on your running playlist, try learning a thing or two.
Free Language Learning Software
Ever wanted to learn a new language? Your public library offers language learning software. And yes, it is completely free of charge. Use your library card to sign up in person or online to learn one or all 71 different languages offered (my vary by library).
Free Work Stations and Wi-Fi
Sick and tired of going to the same loud, busy coffee shop to open up your laptop and answer a few e-mails? Check out the public libraries. They have plenty of space to spread out, either on large tables or in comfy chairs, and do your work. It’s the perfect remote office for those who appreciate peace and quite while they work. Need to focus on a big project coming up? Reserve a free private room at your local public library.
Free Digital Studio Space
At the Hillsborough County Public Library system in the Tampa Bay area, the libraries offer free access to “The Hive,” a studio space with modern tools and technologies for entrepreneurs and creative designers. These recording studios are available for making videos, podcasts, and more. Simply reserve it for free – all you need is your library card! Plus, take full advantage of the digital media center with interactive programs available for you and your team.
Free Books, Magazines, and Movies
Yes, this is what libraries are most commonly known for, but that doesn’t mean this benefit should be overlooked. You can get your library card and check out a book for approximately two weeks before returning it to the library. It makes you wonder why you even bother buying books any more. Don’t have time to read a book within two weeks? No problem, just check out the DVD version of the book.
Free Access to 3D Printers
Think that libraries are stuck in the past with antiquated practices and technology? Think again. Some of the coolest gadgets and technologies are now available at your fingertips at many public libraries around the country. Some of the best new programs revolve around the 3D printer technology. Have a design ready to be printed? Want to learn how to set up a design? Just bring your material to the technology center and see the printers in action.
Free Classes and Workshops
Through various city, county, or state programs, there are several free classes available for anyone with a library card. Are you just starting your real estate business? Do you need help setting up your taxes? Are you looking to do your own graphic design work and want to learn how Photoshop works? Do you have a product idea but need to get funding for its production? These are just a few of the many different classes and workshops that are available every month at your local public library. And the best part? You guessed it: all free.
Your Wallet Never Looked So Good
Tell people you have a library card. Go ahead, do it. I’m sure you will get some very interesting looks. Whether young or old, most people do not appreciate their public libraries like they used to. Instead, show off your library card proudly. Carry it in your wallet just like you would any other card. Make your wallet proud.
Yes, it is 2015, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore all the great benefits of having a library card. Just share these useful tips with the people and agents around you, and see how you can become a better person and business owner – all for free!