One of the greatest assets and resources in your community is your local public library. Have you visited one lately? Libraries have changed over the years and have come into the digital age full force.
They are free for use by anyone and community residents can get a library card for checkout privileges as easy as showing your photo ID and another piece of identification like electric, gas or water bill to prove your residency. And yes, if you rent you can still use the library. Check with your local library for requirements to secure your library card.
Besides the usual books, newspapers and magazines, libraries now have DVDs that include recent movies, books on tape or CD, music selections, eBooks, eMagazines, and online catalog searches. You can request materials you want from their web site and receive text, email or telephone notifications when your materials arrive.
I haven’t purchased a novel in several years. I use the online search tools available through my local libraries regional network to place requests for new books that will soon be released. I don’t always get them immediately after release as other patrons may have requested ahead of me, but the wait is worth it and they are free for me to read.
I recently started using their online digital magazine service to view and read magazines that I may not want to have a subscription to every month. The graphics in the electronic editions are amazing and often have links to other information and may even contain vendor literature request forms and links.
My library has these book services available:
• OverDrive eBooks (a growing collection of books)
• 3M Cloud Library (another collection of books)
• OneClickDigital (classic novels)
• Zinio Digital Magazines
• TumblerBook Library (animated, talking picture books for kids)
• Gale Virtual Reference Library (a database of reference sources for multidisciplinary research)
• What’s Next (books in series database from Kent District Library)
Is having Internet access and owning a computer not in your budget? Many libraries have these services available for free including Wi-Fi and some have printing or copy services available for a nominal fee. And most will allow you to bring your own eReader, tablet or notebook computer to access their free Wi-Fi.
Many libraries have reading rooms with amenities like coffee, tea, water and juices for free or a nominal cost. They can also offer family friendly movie nights, book clubs and computer classes all for free. They can help you with preparing a resume, cover letter and other job search needs.
Need a quite place to work or relax? Why not visit on a hot summer day and read a book, magazine or use a computer and enjoy their air conditioning and comfortable surroundings. Make a trip to your library today.