Saving Money at the Library

Friday, February 1, 2013


The library is a place where you study, and where you spend quite a lot of your university life whether you like it or not. 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 of the ways that the University of Guelph library can save you money and from hauling around an extremely heavy backpack.

Borrowing textbooks on reserve.

The University of Guelph has an excellent system that allows students to take textbooks out on reserve for 2 hours at a time. Most professors put textbooks on reserve and at least 1 copy which is usually enough. This means that you don’t have to 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

The library at UoG also has a great laptop system, now they aren’t Macbooks but they work and have helped me out when my laptops have been broken/needed repair or when it was impossible for me to bring a laptop to school. This is mostly just a way to save yourself from a hauling around a super heavy backpack but can be a lifesaver. Technically you could not buy a laptop and use the one’s at school but I honestly would rather have my own. Make sure to invest in a USB and use it to store your stuff. 

Borrowing books to read instead of buying them from Chapters/Indigo

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. Check out Primo search through the library and search for the books your interested, you can take advantage of not only the books available at UoG but Laurier and Waterloo since we are all tied into one network.

Borrowing documentaries and more "academic" movies

If you are an avid documentary fan, Guelph has a bunch of "academic" type movies. Search through the Primo database online 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. Note- I don’t condone illegal downloading. Also don’t be excessive, the university doesn’t have unlimited money to spend when it comes to internet bandwidth.

Use a desktop computer

If you want to use a desktop computer for an “unlimited” amount of time there are a few options including computers on the main floor (which are often extremely busy) or you can check on the 2nd floor and grab a desktop computer up there.

Need to scan something?

Check out the scanner on the main floor of the university library just behind the IT help desk. You can scan in colour/black and white whatever your heart desires for FREE. Saves you from having to buy a 2-in-1 printer and you can instead get yourself a cheap laser instead of an combo inkjet..but that’s a whole other article in itself.

IT Help

I have to say from personal experience the IT desk at the library has helped me out quite a bit. I have managed to purchase laptops that either don’t like me, or choose to fail at the worst possible moments. The people at the IT desk were able to help me access files on my computer, and pull the important files from my hard drive before I sent in my laptop for repair. Great help and it’s free.

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. The University of Guelph has a ton of initiatives in place to encourage you to refill your water on campus, hello awesome water fountains for bottles, as well as encouraging you to bring your own coffee mugs. Check out the Bullring when you bring your refillable mug.

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. Also make sure to ask them at the desk if you have any fines...I had to ask and realized I had racked up some fines even though I thought I had been returning my textbook/laptop rentals on time.

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. I may have also seen a toaster last semester too, Guelph students are resourceful.

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.

Lauren Bernardo is a current University of Guelph Commerce student.  Her blog Cheap Students aims to help students save money and keep it. Her writing is inspired by her personal experiences as a student on a budget and by her love for saving money.

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