The best bang for your library buck

Albany_Public_Library.jpg

You're paying for all the good stuff in here. Whether you use it or not.

We're all about supporting authors and musicians and stimulating the economy when you can, but with prices going up on basics like fuel and food, it's harder to justify splurging on extras like movies, magazines or the latest best seller.

But here's the thing: we're all paying for that stuff already. Whether you live in Albany, Saratoga, Guilderland or Schenectady you're paying for these things with your library tax. And no, renting doesn't release you from paying library taxes. Your landlord just builds the tax into your rent.

So if you're paying this tax anyway, how can you make the most of your library tax dollars?

Here's an example. If you live in Albany you pay $101 in library tax for every hundred thousand dollars of assessed tax value. So lets say you're paying about 150 dollars a year in library tax.

What is that worth?

7 new best sellers- This one seems obvious. But when you think about it, the newest hardcover best seller can cost you at least $20 at a bookstore.

or

10 audio books- Your library card number allows you to download books and audio books without even going to the library. And (for now at least) once you download it, it's yours to keep. No renewing, no late fees. You can download one audio book from audible.com for about $15. It gets lower as you add more books.

or

4 magazines a month - The news stand price is about $3.50, but APL has a wide selection of magazines that you can check out (really, you can take them home), peruse, and return. Pick your favorite 4 monthlies and you've more than made your tax dollars back.

or

1 movie rental a week - APL gets the latest movies on DVD as soon as Blockbuster does. The difference is they don't cost you 3 bucks a movie. Someone else may have the one you want, but if you have a little patience you can see the hot new release.

or

3 seasons of your favorite TV show- Some of those TV box sets run about $50 per season. So three seasons of say, The Sopranos or West Wing, and you've covered your library tax. One of the things we found interesting was the number and variety of TV shows APL has on DVD. The collection runs the taste gamut, from the Waltons to The L Word.

or

10 CDs - You could download your favorite album or buy a CD for about $15, but if you want to make your library tax up in music you could do it by checking out 10 CDs. If you want to sample local bands, they have an impressive and growing local music collection. You can decide what you like best, and then go buy what you like and support a local musician.

These, of course, are estimates. What with discounts on books and music, frequent buyer cards and subscriptions to Netflix or Audible, your mileage may vary. And of course you can mix and match anyway you want.

Think of it this way -- it's cheap fun that you've already paid for.

Comments

I love you guys for this post! I keep telling people this and they are SHOCKED to find out that the lbirary has movies, music, and even more. I hardly every buy books anymore.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Different event layout for this year's ESP fireworks

As usual, the big fireworks display on the Fourth of July is at the Empire State Plaza. But because of construction at the State Museum... (more)

Not flagged for taxes

Filed under "One of the no doubt many things we didn't know about NYS tax law": US flags, as well as many other types of... (more)

Neighborhood highlights

A few months back as part of an AOA birthday week drawing asked people to name something that's a highlight o f their neighborhood. And... (more)

Restricted public access at Kaaterskill Falls this summer

The state Department of Conservation announced this week that it will be restricting public access to Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County starting July 6 and... (more)

Chilling the ESP

The Empire State Plaza at 50 exhibit at the State Museum includes a handful of videos about the plaza's creation and inner workings. And... (more)

Recent Comments

But where else would it go? We need a roadway connecting those areas somewhere or else downtown businesses are doomed. Whats' the alternative, demolishing downtown to put a highway there? I don't think so. 787 is here to stay. I think we need to look at lower hanging fruit solutions and make the best of what we have. ...

State Museum to get large makeover

...has 16 comments, most recently from -B

Neighborhood highlights

...has 2 comments, most recently from Brew

A look at the latest plan for the 1 Monument Square project in Troy

...has 18 comments, most recently from Cmaxby

Capital Cobblestone Project

...has 2 comments, most recently from Rob

Pick your own strawberry season 2015

...has 12 comments, most recently from Ellen Parlee