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The Card That Has Saved Me Thousands


As a child, my parents got me a special card.  One with my name on it.  It was my first library card.

The library was my favorite place in the world outside of my home. The smell of old books, hearing the clunk of the machine punching the cards as we checked them out, and the tower of little drawers they called a “card catalog,”  all are happy and familiar memories to my mind.

baby jen with dadMy parents were faithful at taking us to the library when I was very young, and filled our car trunk on a regular basis full of Dr. Seuss, Grandma’s Wonderful Chair, Raggedy Ann and Andy Adventures, Nancy Drew, and so much more.

One of my favorite libraries had a children’s section in the basement of an old historic home.  The house was a perfect setting as I headed down the stairs to find my latest treasures to pack in my library bag.


It was the only place I could go, fill up a bag, and pay $0.

It was a place full of adventure, make believe, historical fiction, mystery, and exploration.  It filled my mind and life with hopes, dreams, and goals.

As a teen, the library was my first volunteer job. It turned into my first paying job. It still was my favorite place in the world, outside of my home.

My job was checking in all of the books that had been left in the book drop,  then sorting them and re-shelving them.   I cleaned books when there weren’t any to shelve.  The smell of rubbing alcohol and a little orange cleaning brush became fond my memories of my first job.

Even while I was working, I was on the lookout for my latest treasure find. I’d scan the books as they came through the morning pile from the book drop  and find a few to check out with my library card. 

I still filled my library bag with books, paying $0.

I also filled my bag with SAT and ACT study books. For FREE.



I also checked out VHS tapes  :) of Anne of Green Gables and other classics. For FREE.

I also filled my bag with “How to” books. How to sew, How to craft, How to draw… You get the idea. For FREE.




As a young mom, I continued to use the public library.

From a very young age, my children had library cards, participated in reading programs, and went to story times. For FREE.

They dissected owl scat (the perks of living in Currituck county), watched magicians, met reptile trainers, watched movies, met a canine cop, and more during summer programs. For FREE.

They made edible cakes representing their favorite books, created logos to represent a library club, and earned rewards for their reading efforts. For FREE.

They read through the Hank the Cowdog series, the Boxcar Children, the easy readers, the I SPY books and more. For FREE.



My kids feel quite at home in a library.

I think a little TOO at home sometimes.  :)






Now as a mom of teens and middle schoolers the library is still a haven and a valuable resource.  And it is still one of my very favorite places in the world. 

I love to check out libraries.  It’s just one of my things.   I love to see the shelves of books just waiting to be read.  The rows of information and adventures and exciting places and people just waiting to be discovered.  To peek into the minds and lives of so many authors through their books, movies, magazines, and audio recordings. I love to compare the kids’ section at one library to another.  I notice if the librarians and volunteers make my kids feel welcome.


We are the proud owners of library cards.  3 each to be exact.  We happen to live in an area that there are 3 different library systems that we can use.  And I would say, we use them.

We go almost every week to fill our bags… for $0.

We fill our bags with the latest releases, the oldies but goodies, and the fun comic versions of our favorites. For FREE.


We fill our bags with magazines.  American Girl, Highlights, and Fashion mags.  For FREE.

We also use our library to follow our passions. Pets, videography, art, music, jokes, crafts, business… just to name a few. For FREE.

We fill our bags with books to use for reports, study, and research. For FREE.

We fill our bags with audio books for kids and for adults. For FREE.

We have also used our library to access online classes for FREE. We have taken Chemistry, WW 1 History, American Government, English Grammar, English Writing, Pre-Algebra, Music History, Personal Finance, Geometry, Spanish Language and Art classes. for FREE!

We also use our public library system for visual entertainment. For FREE!

My son, Bobby, says it well in this video.

We also use our public library to listen to albums of our favorite artists. For FREE.

We also use our public library to borrow books for our Kindles. For FREE.

Over the years, I know my library card and the library cards of my family have saved me thousands of dollars. 

IMG_5831Another really nice thing about using the library all these years, is that I don’t have to have space to permanently store all of these things at my house. With this many people’s things to store… that is a nice perk to using the library on a regular basis!

Many times your library is connected with others in your county or state, and can help locate resources for you at no or little charge. You can find out more by looking on your library’s website to see what resources they have to offer. For FREE!


This is one family that has gotten our use out of all the public libraries that we have lived close to. And if you know us well, you know that is a lot of libraries!  :) In all of our moves, we have yet to find a library that doesn’t help us save money in some way or another.  Even when we lived in a town of literally 800 people, we had access to a great library system.

Get a card! 

And then I challenge you to not buy any books, music, or movies over the summer until you’ve checked at your local library to see if you can get it For FREE! 

See how much money you can save on entertainment and education by using what is available for FREE with that little plastic card.

How about you?  Do you use your library?  Do you have another way that your library has been a FREE resource for you?  Share it with us!


You can subscribe to So They Can Fly for articles about Intentional Parenting HERE.


Check out my books for kids and parents HERE.

ebooks header for STCF


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