Have you been to your local library lately? It's something to think about. Consider the following...
It's a clean, bright, happy place to take your kids.
There are all sorts of programs, story hours, and events geared toward youngsters. We enjoyed the "Touch a Truck" and "Reptile Wrangler" events at our local spot this summer. What little kid wouldn't want to sit in a fire truck or see animals up close?
Or maybe you need to escape from your kiddos. Maybe you're pulling your hair out, wishing for a bit of quiet time. Why not load up your thermos with your home brewed coffee and head to the library rather than paying out the wazoo to read at the local coffee shop? (Not that I'm against coffee shops. I worked at such a place in college. The smell, and the music, and the PASTRY. Delightful. However, it is a bit nuts if you're on a strict budget or unemployed/underemployed.)
TONS of magazines. You probably subscribe to your favorites, but why not peruse something new? Why buy the magazine on a whim in the checkout line, when in reality you will only have interest in reading one or two articles? Take a gander at the average cost of a magazine at the grocery. You may assume it's only a dollar or two, but most are between 4 and 6 bucks. Some are even more! Is finding out Brad and Angelina's latest baby acquisition or reading about the latest beauty gimmick worth all that? For example, I love InStyle magazine. In contrast, many fashion mags are quite pricey and are 75% ads. I'd rather subscribe to InStyle (subscriptions are cheap!) and check out the competitors at the library.
There are DVDs and audiobooks galore. You can even check out ebooks for your ipad or reading device. Your local library is likely much more modern than you think.
Folks there are so darn happy to see you. Before the economy took a dive, libraries were pretty lonely places. With the current economy, it seems that we are all rediscovering what has been there all along. No one is happier about that than your local librarian.