September 5th, 2012

Back to School Bargains… @ Your Library!

backtoschool

I love bargains; the cheaper the better. My wallet is a virtual potpourri of store cards, loyalty vouchers, clipped coupons, and bonus bucks. I scan the newspaper for yard sales and know when the local thrift shops are having Half-Off Saturdays. Anything I can do to stretch my dollars a little further, sign me up.

Like a lot of parents, Back To School can be especially challenging for me because it means spending a little more to stock up on everything from juice boxes to cool sneakers. Thankfully, it’s also a major sales time with huge banners splashed across storefronts luring me in with promises of savings. Clearance! Everything 50% Off Storewide! BOGO! B2GO! (Do most of us even know what that means?) And like most parents, I go where I can get the most bang for my buck. For that reason, my favorite “store card” is from the Cecil County Public Library.

No, I’m not going to find the latest fashion trends stashed among the bookshelves, but the library offers one-stop shopping for everyone in my family and almost everything is FREE. Obviously, there are tons of books but they also carry current DVD titles from Hollywood blockbusters to popular TV series, exercise videos and travel documentaries. The music CD collection is extensive; whether you prefer Pink, One Direction, The Beatles or Blake Shelton, CCPL covers a wide variety of musical choices. You can catch up on current events with regional and national newspapers, check out video games and magazines for all ages or download titles to your eReader…all with a library card.

From infants to teens, CCPL branches are offering tons of fun, free programs this season, including Halloween crafts, family movie nights, LEGO challenges, and pajama storytimes. Explore outer space, learn about bees and make bottle cap jewelry. Working on a school assignment? Did you know that you can access the Internet using our library computers for up to 2 hours a day, six days a week? Or if you have a laptop, we have free WiFi.  And homework help is just a click away through the CCPL Digital Library with tons of databases available 24 hours a day.

For Mom and Dad, why not tackle that project you’ve been putting off all summer? From DIY home improvement books to step-by-step auto repair instructions available through the CCPL website’s Online Resources, they’ve got it covered. There are computer classes, cooking demonstrations, and gardening presentations at the local branches. Or maybe you’d like to become a genealogy detective: trace your family roots through Heritage Quest on the CCPL website or sign up for our first ever Cecil County Genealogy Symposium to get you started on your own personal history. You can even get your resume reviewed or start a small business, all through your local library.

If you’re like me, Back To School means that my kids are busy, my days are crazy and family time is even more important. As a parent, I love the fact that one card gives me access to so many resources that all of us can enjoy, and it even fits into my budget. And occasionally, when I bring home a stack of movies or CDs from CCPL, I get to be the cool mom…and that is priceless.


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