How to Save Money at the Library

The library is a place where you study, and spend quite a lot of your university life. But it’s also a place where you can save quite a bit of money through a variety of services that are available. Check out the following list shows you how to save money at the library while also making sure you don’t haul around an extremely heavy backpack.

Borrowing textbooks on reserve

  • Check with your library but most often your professor will put at least 1 textbook on course reserves. You can not buy the textbook at all, or just save yourself the back strain by borrowing the book from the library instead of hauling it to school with you.

Borrowing a laptop

  • Most university students have their own laptops. This is mostly just a way to save yourself from a super heavy backpack. The University of Guelph has rental laptops for 2 hours at a time.

Borrowing books to read instead of buying them from chapters

  • If you want to do some casual reading on certain topics that are academic in nature you can often find a wide variety of books at your university library. Save yourself from buying them from Chapters or off Amazon and instead just borrow the books.

Borrowing documentaries and more “academic” movies

  • If you are an avid documentary fan, a lot of schools will have a bunch of “academic” type movies. Search through your university library online database to see what is available, they may even be helpful for your classes.

Watch/download movies and tv at the library

  • By downloading movies, tv and music at the library you can cut down on using your bandwidth at home. Some schools may block the use of torrents on some computers.

Ways to save money when studying at the library
Bring your own food

  • By bringing your own meals to the library you are often able to save quite a bit if you spend a lot of time in your university library. Even bringing snacks and a refillable water bottle can help save a ton of money in the long run.

Make sure to return books, laptops and textbooks on time

  • It’s amazing how much a late book can add up in terms of fines, it’s important to stay aware of dates and renew checked out books if you are unable to make it to the library by the due date.

Bring your own coffee maker

  • Yes, I have seen it before. You could honestly bring your own coffee maker to the library if that’s what your heart desires. All you need is a plug

For the less intense people out there; Make your own coffee/tea before coming to the library

  • Making your own coffee instead of purchasing coffee/tea from Starbucks, Tim Hortons or Second Cup can help save you a ton of money by the time the end of mid terms and exams.
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  • I used spend a lot of time in library during my university days. I got several reference books from there. I didn’t have to spend money to buy those books. I didn’t have any laptop back then. My dad was going through financial problems. I just couldn’t afford to splurge. Luckily, rental laptops were available in the library. I used those laptops for my research work.

    I used to also borrow books. I made photocopies of the chapters that were important. Sometimes, I used to take notes. This served my purpose. I would request university students to spend more time in library than at the canteen.

    • Nelly. I’m glad there are some people out there that use the resources available at the library. I think libraries at universities are often underutilized when it comes to the services they offer especially by students. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • I had the same experience with Nelly, I had no choice but to borrow the book and return it after its deadline, I also spent a lot in photocopies of our readings and other materials. I must admit saving money when you’re still in college is a bit difficult. That’s the time that since the money is coming from your parents, sometimes the tendency is you overspend the money that they are giving to you. I may have to say that the earlier you save money the better; besides, it’s for your future anyway.

    • Jordan I completely agree with you, and that’s exactly why I write these blog posts with the hope that students will be able to save a bit more here and there. I think the overall ideology in university/college may not be to save your money which is a problem that I hope will change soon to reduce overall student debt.