Books

Want to feel frugal? Check out your library receipt

Receipts from the Wichita library now show the cost savings of borrowing materials instead of buying them.
Receipts from the Wichita library now show the cost savings of borrowing materials instead of buying them. The Wichita Eagle

Library books don’t just expand your mind – they boost your budget.

That’s the message Wichita Public Library officials are sending to patrons with a new feature on check-out receipts that shows the cost savings of borrowing materials instead of buying them.

“It gives people that instant reward of seeing how their frugality is helping them out,” said Stephanie Huff, spokeswoman for the library.

“Maybe they’ll feel more empowered to continue using the library, continue finding those savings, and we’d love for them to brag about it to their friends.”

Since last week, library receipts show how much a patron saved per visit and his or her total savings since Sept. 1. The amount is calculated using the retail cost of the materials being borrowed – the cover price of a just-published book, for example – or their estimated replacement cost.

Maybe they’ll feel more empowered to continue using the library.

Stephanie Huff, Wichita Public Library

The feature is similar to receipts at grocery stores that show how much customers saved with membership cards or other discounts.

Ofinime Sampson, circulation manager, said the addition was a free option that was part of the library’s recent software upgrade.

It shows that in September, about $2 million worth of materials were checked out from Wichita library branches. So far in October, patrons have borrowed nearly $2.5 million worth of books, DVDs, BluRays, compact discs and other materials.

“One person saved over $2,000 (since September), and they were like, ‘Yeah!’ ” Sampson said.

“I’ve had people say, ‘This is what I tell my friends all the time.’ So this is good. This really helps explain that the library is beneficial and saves money.”

Currently a patron’s cumulative cost savings goes back only until Sept. 1 because that’s when the library upgraded its software, Huff said. Starting in January, patrons will see per-visit and year-to-date savings on their receipts.

The Wichita Public Library posted a video to Facebook of the construction of the Advanced Learning Library.

Suzanne Perez Tobias: 316-268-6567, @suzannetobias

  Comments