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A gift for all at Delta County Libraries

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Black Friday has come and gone, along with its mile-long lines, mad dashes to super-sale items, problematic parking and congested traffic. In a report by CNBC, it is estimated that several million more Americans spent time shopping on Black Friday than voted in the recent election. Target reported sales of a stunning 3,200 TVs per minute in the first hour of store opening, and Amazon said that over 100,000 toys were sold in the first few hours of Black Friday.

Whether you dove head first into the crowds, took advantage of online deals, or stayed clear of the whole thing altogether, you probably still have some gifts to acquire. If you are looking for an alternative to the commercial world of shopping and spending, Delta County Libraries has some ideas for you to consider that will keep you in the quiet of your own home or at your local library.

Having a library card opens up a world of information and resources to library users. "A valid library card benefits a user year round," says Leah Morris, collections and systems administrator for Delta County Libraries. "I can think of no better gift than to pay off the overdue fines that are keeping a student or other book-loving family member from taking advantage of library services. I encourage everyone to make this simple, thoughtful gesture for someone special this year." If your loved one does not have any pending fines, a donation to the libraries in their name might be a nice alternative.

Another option is to get creative in one of the many holiday programs being offered at the libraries this month. A gift with a personal touch can mean so much more than the countless other items acquired during the holiday season, not only for the recipient, but also for the giver.

The Hotchkiss Library is offering space and supplies during the month of December to make an ornament for a loved one. The Delta Library's holiday reading challenge is an opportunity to encourage a child to read while working toward a prize: a free, personal pizza from Pizza Hut. The Crawford Library will provide supplies to make a personalized holiday card for a friend or family member December 14 through 17.

If you know someone who likes to take baths, visit Cedaredge Library's Bath Fizzy Maker Space and go home with a great stocking stuffer. Or, if quality time spent with someone special is more your style, plan a date to the showing of "Shop Around the Corner" at the Paonia Library Saturday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. Best of all, aside from potential transportation costs, none of these library options will lighten your wallet.

Another cost-effective option is the gift of music. Using Freegal online through Delta County Libraries website, library patrons can explore a world of music available for download. Whether your loved one enjoys the songs of Miranda Lambert, Adele, Tribe Called Quest or anything in-between, there is something for everyone on Freegal Music. Just download your choices and make a playlist or CD.

"In a way, you will be giving two gifts at once," says Lea Hart, district director of Delta County Libraries. "First, there is the gift given to your loved one. Then, there is the gift given to your community through your support of the libraries. Win, win."

For more information on library programs and access to Freegal Music, visit the Delta County Libraries website at deltalibraries.org.

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