I'm very lucky to be in a city with an excellent public library system. And yours might be better than you know.

You probably know about the books, the magazines, the CDs, the DVDs, the reference section, the access to computers and the Internet. But here are more things your library may offer:

  • electronic access to things not publicly available on the net, like magazine, newspaper, and journal archives, specialized search engines, and references, like encyclopedias. You may even be able to access these from home through your library.
  • the ability to place holds on items, to be delivered to the branch of your choice when they're in (and your place in the queue comes up). At my library, you can do this when an item is still on order -- it's how I've often read popular books when they're still brand new.
  • software and games
  • Teaching Company courses
  • museum passes
  • the ability to renew on-line
  • maybe even tools

You may have access to more libraries than you think. In many states, any state resident is eligible for a library card at any library in the state. And local colleges and universities may offer borrowing privileges.

So, if you haven't been to the library lately, give it a try.

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