I was waiting in line at the grocery store this weekend and happened to overhear a conversation between two young ladies, probably both in their early twenties. One was wishing she had more wiggle room in her budget for entertainment. The other agreed. Myself, I silently agreed and disagreed at the same time.

It adds up, yes? The cost of buying books, renting/downloading movies and music, buying magazines. It doesn’t have to. What’s even better than B&N and Amazon? And easy on the budget? The local library.

Take, for example, the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. When moving back to Kansas, one of the first things that I did was get a library card. My library card is rough around the edges and a little grubby looking. It gets used.

 Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

What do I use the most at the library?

Presently, that would probably be the ebook catalog. Their e-catalog is constantly growing and I seldom fail to find something entertaining. Many of their books can be downloaded via the Amazon Kindle app, which is free and available for many platforms.

I can’t overlook the traditional book catalog, though. Whether you like to wander the stacks in person and look for hidden gems or browse the online catalog to reserve titles, I’m never disappointed. And if I can’t find what I’m looking for? They’ve got an excellent Interlibrary Loan program. I’ve used it many times.

In particular, I like to test drive cookbooks, both hard and soft copies, from the library. Sometimes I’ll buy copies to have around for reference.

What else is available?

At the Topeka Library? Movies, music, magazines and newspapers… both in traditional and digital formats. Book clubs. Programs for children, even the youngest of them. Classes for all ages for anything from art to music to computers to gardening. Research resources, including genealogy. Reading programs. Movie & game nights. Concerts. Bookmobiles. Art displays. A gift shop. A cafe. And, not least of all, a staff of people who’ll help you find what you’re looking for or even suggest something new.

Not in Topeka? Check out your own local library to see what’s new!

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
1515 SW 10th Ave | Topeka, Kansas 66604
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