I'm a big fan of libraries - one of my favourite ways to be frugal is to make up a list of new release books I'm keen to read, head on over to my library and put in requests for each one. Sometimes it's free to put a book on hold, sometimes it'll cost a dollar or so - but that's a lot less than the $25 or so you'll pay to buy the book new!
(And, before you ask, libraries do pay royalties so the author still gets some benefit from people reading their books through libraries rather than buying them.)
But just borrowing books isn't the only way to save money - Wise Bread has published a great post which celebrates the many and varied cool and usually free things which libraries offer to their community. This includes borrowing DVDs and CDs for free. There's usually free or very cheap computer access - and often there's wireless as well (recently we told you about 10 Sydney libraries offering free wireless).
Depending on the needs of the local community, libraries often host story time for children, or computer tuition for seniors -so it's worth checking out what's on offer at your nearest library.
And finally, no post extolling the awesomeness of local libraries would be complete without mentioning Melbourne's own City Library at 253 Flinders Lane. If you check out the link you'll see they're trialling free wireless access from now until the first week of April, they have a speaking event with Max Barry coming up, and they have acoustic music sessions at lunchtimes. They also have a really cool gallery space which showcases local artists.
And do I need to mention the lure of the sexy librarians? Go on, you know you want to get shushed. :)
Duh - Libraries [Wise Bread]