Rogelio V. Solis/AP
- This Reddit user went viral after their library receipt showed a yearly savings of $1,384.23 and a savings of $7,078.76 since joining the library.
- Many online users expressed their surprise — and delight — at the high savings, theorizing that it may encourage more people to use their local libraries.
- Other users, however, worried that this money was being taken away from book authors.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Libraries offer valuable local programming and events, as well as the opportunity to check out the season’s hottest books or cultural classics, all for free.
Buying books can be extremely expensive — the average price of a standard paperback book is $13.95 to $17.95, and the cost of purchasing a hardcover book can be even higher.
The Wichita Public Library informs members just how much money they’re saving each year by listing customers’ savings on each checkout receipt.
One Reddit user shared a photo of their receipt, which showed that they had saved a whopping $7,078.76 since joining the library.
In the comment section of the post, the user explained that the amount on the receipt was reflective of their six-person family. They visit the library on a weekly basis.
The Wichita Public Library told Yahoo Lifestyle that they began listing how much users saved on their receipts through the Polaris Integrated Library System in 2016. The system was used by the library to manage customer accounts and inventory of the library collection, as well as provide figures for how much each book typically sold for.
The Wichita Public Library’s communications specialist, Sean Jones, spoke to Yahoo about how the system is valued by the library’s visitors.
"Customers enjoy seeing how much money they’re saving by using the Wichita Public Library," he told Yahoo. "It creates a great discussion topic among their circle of friends and lets customers encourage friends to use the [Wichita Public] Library."
"Wow that’s brilliant," one user commented. "Seeing those figures might encourage more people to use a library!"
However, many users on Twitter saw the viral receipt as a testament to how libraries may be taking revenue away from actual authors.
The viral receipt soon turned into a debate about whether libraries can inadvertently hurt authors. Many users responded to these claims by pointing out that libraries do pay authors for the books they lend out, and provide a valuable role in society by fostering reading habits and allowing people who couldn’t otherwise afford it to read more books.
Regardless of people’s opinions about the ethics of lending libraries, one thing is for sure — using the library can save you a ton of money per year.
- Read more:
- 19 of the most stunning libraries across the US
- I took the most clichéd money advice out there — and it saved me $450 last year
- The most beautiful library in every US state
- 20 of the most beautiful libraries in the world
- This is how much it costs to visit 10 of New York City’s most popular tourist attractions
- The Albert savings app changed my views on money and helped me save $1,500 — here’s how
- People spend an average of $1,979 annually on summer vacations — here are 4 ways to save money on your next trip