You know that book you've been wanting to read? The one your library doesn't own? The one you're not sure you want to spend the money on? Another library probably owns it. You can get it! Free! The answer is interlibrary loan.
Interlibrary loan allows you to borrow books (and sometimes other items, like DVD's) from other libraries with whom your library has agreements. You can usually search and reserve these online. Sometimes if the regular library co-operative doesn't own the item, my friendly librarian will find it from somewhere else for me.
We have borrowed a great number of library items this way. What fun it is to get the call from the library that they are holding an item for me! It also benefits the library by increasing their circulation numbers and they like that.
If you already use the online components of your library, you probably agree with me. If you haven't tried signing into your library system online, give it a try right away. Interlibrary loan is my favorite part of my library's online system, but it isn't the only one.
You can check your account to see what's due. You can renew your items online. Some libraries offer reference items or computer programs as part of their online offerings.
Online library systems are the icing on the cake. If you're not sure what your library offers, go check it out right now!