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Libraries are a great place for savers

To me, librarians are like rock stars.

Just as I've spent hours listening to my favorite musicians, I've spent hours sitting in my favorite libraries, and librarians are the stars of the show. If ?they don't have an answer for every ?question, they always know where to ?find one.

As a penny pincher, I also appreciate ?all the money libraries have saved me ?over the years on books, CDs, newspapers, magazines and DVDs. They have spoiled me with access to databases I never could have afforded myself and created all kinds of programming that has enriched my life.

In the past, it was always thrilling to ?think that, if my closest branch didn't ?have a copy of a book I was looking ?for, they would arrange for it to be delivered there for me. What service!

So how much more incredible is it ?now that my library magically beams ?free books directly to my e-reader? ?It's like an episode of Star Trek.

It's easier to appreciate just how awesome the entire concept of libraries is if you imagine it applied to items other than books.

But what if there were a ?library of kitchen gadgets where I ?could just bring my library card and ?check out whatever I needed??Not only would I be able to borrow it, ?but there would be someone there – a ?kitchen librarian – to show me where ?to find it and how to use it. Best of all, it wouldn't cost me a cent.

The only time money would come into the equation would be if I failed to return my mixer on time. Even then, the penalties would be a pittance. How cool would that be?

You hear a lot about how much money libraries cost because politicians are always trying to cut them out of their budgets. But have you ever stopped to think about how much money libraries save the people who need them??A recent report released by the Buffalo ?and Erie County Public Library shows ?that every $1 of funding received by ?our public library system return a minimum of $6.70 in services.

That's better than money in the bank ?– literally – considering the average ?interest rate on a standard local ?savings account runs between 0.01 per?cent and 0.10 percent.

In total, Erie County's library system ?estimates it saved borrowers more ?than $76 million in 2011, including ?more than $10 million in computer usage and more than $727,000 in children and adult programming.?And that just accounts for one county ?in Western New York. Libraries in Niagara County and elsewhere are similarly spinning straw into gold.

Talk about a return on investment.?

email: schristmann@buffnews.com or call MoneySmart at 849-4612. Follow me at www.Facebook.com/DiscountDiva