I’ll admit I have not been to a local library in years, but recently there was some work I needed to get done and it was the quietest place I could find to be productive. The library system has changed so much over the years I was quite amazed. In the old days it was just rows of books and a reading area which consisted of some inexpensive tables and chairs. Now they have added to the library with state of the art computers, a collaborative work area, private study rooms, and even a makerspace with a new 3D printer.
Now you’re probably wondering what does this have to do with my personal finances and let me tell you it has everything to do with it. I recently found that my local library has so many resources to help you succeed, I’ll name a few so you get the idea.
- Personal finance and tax preparation course
- Entrepreneur resources
- Access to business databases including Morningstar Investment Research
- Guest speakers
- Software courses like Microsoft Excel
- And many more resources to help you sharpen your skills
Morningstar Investment Research costs $200 per year and a good 3D printer can run you into the thousands of dollars. Additionally, if you live near a big city’s library you will have even more at your disposal. To give you an idea I looked at the New York and Boston Public library system website and found that their members get access to things like private job boards and a Bloomberg terminal. If you’re not familiar with the Bloomberg Terminal let me explain how big of a deal it is. You’re standard Terminal will run you $24,000 per year and is the most expensive among financial data providers. Its capabilities are seemingly endless. You can track down financial professionals, download excel models of your favorite stocks, look up any economic indicator, and even have access to private job boards. One day in college my friend was teaching me how to use it and he pulled up a map of every oil pipeline in America. Its an amazing resource to have at your disposal if you are interested in serious investing.
If you are a human I strongly believe you can better yourself by taking full advantage of resources at your local library. It is so much more than just access to books nowadays. Whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, inventor, or just a regular person looking to better their finances or learn a new skill it is worth checking out your local library.