Benefits of Getting a Library Card


Fiona Gmeiner, Reporter

Public libraries are extremely beneficial to people of all ages and should be taken advantage of for many different reasons.

Libraries grant people access to books — free books. Not only that, but the various genres available can benefit anyone from researchers to people who read for pleasure. Libraries also often have magazines, newspapers, CDs, and DVDs, providing a large range of material that is anyone’s for the taking as long as they have a library card. Though these things must later be returned, there is often a long window of time for the reader to have the material.

The Petaluma Library, in particular, allows people to have a book checked out for a whole month before it must be returned or renewed, and people can have up to one hundred books checked out at a time. These books don’t have to come from one’s local library either, as in many cases one can have a book sent to their library from a nearby one — free of charge. Not only that, but libraries are often also open to suggestions about books they should purchase, allowing people to request that their favorite books be stocked. Additionally, according to the Library Card Value Calculator on the Sonoma County Library page, checking out one hundred adult or children’s books in a month instead of purchasing them saves a reader a staggering $1,700.

This number might make getting a library card well worth many people’s while, but others prefer purchasing new books that they would then own. This is a perfectly respectable view; however, it is much more sensible for a person to check out a book from their local library to see if they like it before potentially wasting money on something they don’t enjoy. 

Not only does using a library card save money in the long run, but it is also a great way to support one’s local community, as public libraries contribute to the foundation of a healthy society. There are many community events to partake in at the library as well. In Petaluma, these activities include reading to dogs, homework help, yoga, and volunteering at the library. 

Ultimately, obtaining a library card and taking advantage of public libraries’ resources is a smart choice. The Sonoma County Library page states that approximately 495,000 people in the county are currently utilizing this free opportunity. Why not join them?