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One of the first things to get slashed in personal budgets during rough economic times is entertainment. It's hard to justify spending $30 on the newest hardcover teen vampire love story when the power bill is looming, but the government is here to bail you out. The Hollywood Branch of the Broward County Library is a sprawling, two-story shrine to the written word and self-education of every kind. Aside from the obvious catacombs of books, countless groups meet there to conduct meetings, seminars, speeches, lectures, and children's activities almost every night of the week. These events range from a monthly screenwriters meeting to beginner Spanish classes to creative writing seminars to celebrations of famous authors' birthdays. The best part: They're all free and open to the public. It's not every day you can learn Spanish, celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday, and pick up a half dozen novels without spending a dime. Oh wait, maybe it is.
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