I usually buy the pattern or book when there is something I just have to have and want to knit. With all the copy right laws and so many people not obeying them, I feel more comfortable just buying it for myself. That keeps the designers happy and me too .
Does your library have inter-library loan with other nearby libraries? I can request almost any knitting book at my library, and if they can't find it at another library in northern IL, they will buy it.