- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No money for entertainment? Well, the good news is some entertainment still is free - think DVDs, books and downloads from the public library.

Across the nation, libraries are seeing a huge spike - about a 25 percent increase in some areas - in visitors who use the library for everything from job searches to borrowing the latest John Grisham novel.

Libraries also generally have free Internet access and downloads to MP3 players, meaning you can download for free and for a limited time everything from audiobooks, such as George Orwell’s “1984” to movies, such as “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

The titles are not always as fresh as from commercial services and stores, but it’s hard to argue with the library’s price tag: $0.

Unfortunately, many libraries, even though usage is up dramatically of late, are cutting hours and closing branches as public funds wane in these troubled times. Check your local branch for hours.

- Gabriella Boston

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