Quick question: When you think about libraries do you envision dusty book cases?
Don't worry if you do, plenty of people think this way but I am here to tell you that libraries are working hard to beat the "dusty book" stigma. NOW is actually a pretty exciting time to have a library card and here are a few neato ways that I use mine.
I realize this may sound like a PSA (Public Service Announcement) but hear me out.
Firstly, I would like to tell you about Overdrive. Many libraries in Connecticut have access to Overdrive and I suggest that you check it out! Overdrive is an app that allows you to download or stream thousands of audio books and ebooks. What is really cool is that you type in your library card number and "borrow" whatever you want. Then, after 14 days or so, the materials disappear from your device. Poof! You don't have to return them or worry about late fees. It is 100% free.
If I am driving (for more than 20 minutes) I am using the Overdrive app. It has everything from new novels to classics AND a huge selection for kids. My son loves it too! We are currently listening to The Magic Tree House series on repeat, Winnie the Pooh and once he's older we will borrow the Harry Potter audio books.
Another popular app that many libraries have access to is Zinio. With your participating library card, Zinio will let you borrow digital magazines. I love reading magazines on my tablet because the picture quality is so bright. Similar to Overdrive, there are no late fees and when your "borrowing time" is up the magazine will vanish! Talk about saving money. Magazines are expensive and end up in the recycle bin anyway right? Like I always say, "why buy when you can borrow?" AND if there is an option to support my library and not leave my house? Win!
Overdrive and Zinio are serious game changers. I am always using them for road trips, as a way to save money or for flipping through magazines when my insomnia strikes. These are the two apps I use most often but PLEASE go to your library's website and see what they have to offer.
Oh! and have I mentioned Hoopla? It's a site where you can stream movies (like Netflix) AND music AND books. Again, for free with your participating library card!
There are lots of digital resources that you may have access to. For example, Brainerd Library gives cardholders access to JobNow, a website dedicated to resume building and advice. While members of the Russel Library can use Lynda.com which really, has unlimited possibilities. So cool!
Are you overwhelmed yet? I told you this was exciting!
Just a few more things you need to know before you head out to explore your library's website.
If you have a library card in Connecticut, you also have access to the Connecticut State Library and all of their resources which include some interesting digital genealogy programs, historical documents, a link to ResearchIt-CT and a link to Findit-CT. If you are a curious soul or have any research to do, ResearchIt is such a handy tool and easy to use. After you type in a few key words it will search through tons of articles, books, published documents etc.
FindIt allows you to search every public library catalog in Connecticut. If you are looking for a specific book or document FindIt can help you!
I know I will say this a million times but seriously, you should get a library card. I encourage you to pick up your phone or open up a new tab and google your library. There are just too many things to watch, read and look at and it is all free! Go explore and then if you want, report back in the comments. I would LOVE to hear what library services you use regularly.