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Do you have a library card? Great time to get one

Do you have a library card? Great time to get oneEver since I could remember, I have loved libraries. I love everything about them. I love what they stand for and the services they deliver. According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans feel that libraries are providing the resources they need. Yet, there are still a significant number of people who are not aware of all the services that libraries provide. This is a great time to visit your library because it is Library Card Sign Up Month. Here are some of the services available through the Lakewood Memorial Library and the New York Public Library.

I am a regular user of a number of library systems. Primarily, I use the academic libraries of Jamestown Community College and the University of Wyoming, where I work and teach. I have saved hundreds of dollars by accessing articles through their systems rather than pay the publishers directly.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of a public library system is the amount of money you can save if you are an avid reader. A librarian I know reported one day that she had read 24 ebooks check out from the public library resulting in a savings of $247.45, if she had purchased them on Amazon.

Here are services that can save you money from the Lakewood Memorial Library:

Online Catalog – With the online catalog, you can search to see if the library system has a book or video and you can put it on hold. When the book is available, you will be notified. Additionally, you can add books you want to read onto your Goodreads list. You can also build and print a reading list within the online catalog system. The catalog also shares the most current best seller lists. With your library card, you can access this wonderful collection.

eBooks and Audio Books – Many people do not realize that your local library also has a catalog of ebooks and audio books. The books are arranged in a number of collections or they can be found with a search. You can download or “borrow” these books using a program called Overdrive. You will need your library account to gain access.  According to research, reading a book or listening to a book take the same amount of energy and result in the same benefits.

Digital Magazines – With a program called Zinio, you can download and read the latest magazines using your digital device like your phone or iPad. Again, this is available with a current library card.

Information databases – The Lakewood Memorial Library also has an extensive digital database collection on a wide array of topics to include: Agriculture, Arts, Business & Finance, Careers, Communications, Computers, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Cultural Studies, Environmental Sciences, Gardening, Gender Studies, Health & Medicine, History, Home Improvement, Homework Help, Insurance, Library/Information Science, Magazines/Journals, Military, Newspapers, Nursing, Popular Culture, Psychology, Religion, Science, Sports Medicine, Students, Terrorism, and Travel.

If you do not know how to use these digital tools, stop into the library and the wonderful library staff will be happy to assist you. There is something in the library for all ages.

You can also get a library card for the New York Public Library (NYPL). The NYPL also has an online catalog, ebooks and audio books, videos, digital magazines, and information databases. However, the reason I joined the NYPL was to access the instructional library. This is an exceptional library asset that features over 3,000 courses. Courses cover a myriad of topics to include web design, web development, IT, education/instruction, media production, business, and much more.

If you have not been to your library in a while, I am confident you will be impressed with what they are doing for you. Go out and get your library card today!


Full disclosure – I serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Lakewood Memorial Library.