Public Libraries Help You Save Money & Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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NBC Connecticut

If it’s been a while since you’ve stepped into your local public library, you might be surprised at what all they offer.

Pat Rutkowski, the director of the New Britain Public Library, has been working at the library since high school and she has seen a lot change over the years.

“You see less and less that’s in print,” Rutkowski said. “So we have databases online for people to use for informational purposes and our downloadable electronic collection as well.”

But you can always count on a library for one thing -- books!

“We have books, magazines and newspapers so it alleviates from people having to buy their materials,” recalled Rutkowski. “Or also having it sit around the house and what do you do with it afterwards because you can’t part with the book so we keep having books that are used over and over and over again.”

Saving you money and clutter, while also cutting back on your personal carbon footprint. But do they have that new popular book that was just released? If they don’t, they’ll get it for you!

“If they request a book and it has good reviews, we add it to our collection so we try to. We have what they need. They just need to let us know what they need," she said.

Public libraries are also really good at sharing.

“We have a delivery system that goes from library to library so if it’s something that we don’t have and we’re not going to purchase, we can get it for them from another library," Rutkowski explained.

And if you’re more of an e-reader, libraries still have you covered.

“In this world of smartphones, we have a downloadable collection where they can download e-books, audiobooks, and e-magazines as well. And there is no physical paper presence whatsoever so they can just check it out on their device and it unchecks itself so there’s no overdue fines either," she added.

From resources like scanners to printers and entertainment like dvds, puzzles, and audio and video streaming services...they even collect eyeglasses to be recycled.

There is so much offered to encourage you to live greener and save money, but for some, visiting the library is still about the experience.

“I learn so much when I’m here. And I keep informed with everything that goes on around my community and places that I can volunteer or where they need my help,” said New Britain resident Freddie Sanchez.

“You’ve got variety, you got plenty of time to keep at home and make sure you get what you want it. And it is a place that I feel safe and I feel home,” he added.

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