Save money with your library card

By Tracy Ihnot


Did you know that having and using a library card can save you money? Book readers conserve their cash by checking out books rather than purchasing them. Computer users save on equipment and internet costs by utilizing the technology provided by the libraries. State park go'ers avoid paying park fees by checking out a Colorado State Parks pass. And, anyone who listens to music or reads magazines can save money by using their library card for downloads through the Delta County Libraries' website.

Let's start with music. In June 2011, independent analyst Horace Deidu reported that the average cost of buying a song on iTunes is $1.20 per song. If you buy 5 songs per week at that price you will end up spending $312 annually on music. Many people are looking for ways to save money without sacrificing quality of life. An easy way to do that in this situation is by having a library card. "When I found out that I could use a library card to download music for free I decided it was time to get one," Kelsy Dysart, resident of Orchard City says. "Turns out, I already had a card that I had not used in years, but I plan to start using it now!"

Accessing and downloading free music through the online library is easy. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a library card. From the home page of Delta County Libraries website there is access to a database system that includes over 50 links to various e-resources. One of them is called Freegal Music. Freegal stands for "free" and "legal," meaning it can be used to download music for free, legally. Freegal Music offers download or streaming access to over 9 million songs, including Sony Music's catalog of legendary artists and music from over 28,000 labels and 80 countries. Using Freegal Music, library patrons have the opportunity to download five songs per week, per library card, potentially saving hundreds of dollars a year.

Moving on to magazines, another link can be found in the online library that connects users to a variety of monthly and weekly magazines available for download. Zinio offers many popular titles, including Field & Stream, Country Living, Newsweek, Consumer Reports, National Geographic, Family Handyman and Mother Earth News. To get an idea of cost savings, a one-year print magazine subscription to National Geographic ordered through the Barnes & Noble website costs $39. An annual subscription to Newsweek is offered on the same website for $149.99. Using Zinio, both of these magazines can be downloaded to a device, simply by having and using a library card.

"Saving money is not the only advantage of using Zinio," says Markee Travis, technology manager for Delta County Libraries and frequent Zinio user. "The graphics are amazing; they jump right off the screen and pull you in. Zinio is a great resource."

There are other ways to save money by utilizing Delta County Libraries online library. E-books, e-audio books, foreign language courses, answers to legal questions, and over 500 online continuing education classes are just a few of the other resources offered to patrons with a valid library card. Learn more, sign up for a library card and begin saving by visiting the Delta County Libraries website at www.deltalibraries.org.