5 Little Ways to Keep Your Local Library Open

Try these five easy ways to support your local branch.By Catherine Strawn

Public libraries are an invaluable resource, but with shrinking budgets and closures they need you more than ever. Photo by GettyImages.

1. Ask for a card-and then use it.

A large number of active cardholders helps a library prove its worth to the community and justify its funding. Encourage your kids, friends and neighbors to get cards too.

2. Donate your change.

The coins you drop into the collection jars at the desk add up (to the tune of thousands per year at some locations)! So dig out your loose change before going inside and leave a few dimes when you check out a book.

Related: Check out 15 clever uses for household items.

3. Supply a subscription.


Share a periodical you love with your whole town by offering to pay for a subscription ($10 to $30 a year). If you can't decide on a title, ask your librarian or check the library's website for a subscription wish list.

4. Support sales.
Many libraries organize sales of used donated books, DVDs and board games. The events offer great deals for buyers-generally 50¢ to $5 per item-and the sales help bring in much-needed funds.

Related: Learn which 9 buys are cheaper online.

5. Remind your representatives.

Share how much the institution means to you by emailing a city council member, state legislator or member of Congress. Your positive notes can sway lawmakers to lend their support.

SOURCES: Jamie Bukovac, director, Indian Prairie Library, Darien, IL. Cynthia K. Richey, director, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh. Maureen Sullivan, president, American Library Association.

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