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Free stuff: Have you been to the library lately?

Wednesday - 7/6/2011, 6:16am  ET

Michelle Basch,

WASHINGTON - If you're like many people, you have a forgotten card stuffed in your wallet that is an all-access-pass to free stuff -- your library card.

If you haven't been to a library in a while, you're in for a shock. In addition to regular books, most libraries have ebooks you can read on your computer or on an ereader such as a Kindle or Nook.

Many libraries let you borrow mp3s and iPod-compatible audio books as well.

One good thing about electronic items you check out is, as the Montgomery County Public Library explains on its website, they "return themselves." They're never overdue, so you never face any fines.

What many people pay a monthly subscription to get, your library has for free. Those include DVDs, newspapers and magazines. Most area libraries also offer free Internet access and Wi-Fi.

Other things to look for at a library near you:

  • Free language-learning programs;
  • Homework help for kids
  • Free access to geneology websites where you can research your family tree.

Some libraries even have researchers on staff who will help you create your family tree.

Here are links to area libraries:

In D.C.

In Maryland:

In Virginia:

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