If Ben Franklin did indeed invent the idea of a free public library, then I LOVE him!! But libraries have come a long way since his day. Today, most libraries offer much much more than books and the local newspaper. Here's a list of the possible freebies you could be taking advantage of in your very own neighborhood.
Books (fiction, non-fiction, how-to, cookbooks, travel guides. . . )
Books on cassette and CD
Download music and books directly to your iPod (often from home)
Book Club back packs (a backpack containing multiple copies of the same book with discussion questions)
Specialty cake pans -- I love this one!!
Reading time for newborns, toddlers and young children
Summer reading programs for youth and adults
GED, SAT and other standardized tests
Youth and Adult book clubs
Cultural passes for local museums
Author visits and book signings
Bilingual reading time for children
Genealogical research areas with specialists to assist you
Themed help bags for parents (such as how to potty train a child)
Local, national and international newspapers
A place for you to donate books you no longer need or want
The list is as creative as your branch librarian. . .
Heck, even with the occasional library fine, it's still a great deal! If you've run across an unusual kind of service or check out that your library offers, we'd love to hear it!