Renovating an historic home

How the library helped me during tough economic times.

For 9 years, Woman’s Day magazine partnered with the Campaign for America’s Libraries by featuring essays from readers who shared their stories about why the library is important to them. The essays cover a wide range of topics about how the resources at their libraries have helped women to save money, locate important health information and even start their own businesses.

Cassandra RobbersCassandra Robber, of Almond, N.Y. shares her story of how the resources at her library help her renovate her 1880’s house on a minimal budget. Here is an excerpt from her essay:

“Becoming a homeowner has turned out to be much more expensive than I imagined. Especially considering our "new" home was built in 1880. Luckily, the library has books with instructions on how to do anything. I have referenced books at the library for plumbing projects, tile projects, painting techniques, and landscaping. I would estimate in home repair alone, I have saved nearly $400 in the past year from things I learned at the library. This house still has a long way to go, so every penny I save is like gold!

My frugality does not stop at fixing things though, I have also found books on sewing, cooking, and gardening. Last year we had our first family garden, and the tips I read helped me turn my thumb a little greener, and get my first garden off to a good start. I have also learned how to make wine, extracts for baking, and bent wood trellises. This year, I will be checking out a field guide to edible wild plants. The children and I are going to teach ourselves how to forage.

Of course, the library is also a good resource for entertainment. We check out lots of children's books every week. My husband checks out audio books to keep him company on the road, and I don't mind a good classic once in awhile. They even have DVDs available to check out. So, rather than pay for movie rentals or cable TV, when we feel like laying around with popcorn and a blanket on a cold winter night, we can save the money and check one out from the library.

The library has definitely become one of the biggest money saving resources I have found.”