Everybody knows you can get free books at the library. But not everybody knows you can also get free e-books, audio books, movies, music, and even instructions on how to use all kinds of computer software.
The list of titles available is huge, and while the list of compatible devices upon which to play them used to be limited; that’s not the case anymore.
Once you download digital media files to your computer; you can transfer them to mobile devices including Apple’s iPad and iPod, Creative Zen, Microsoft Zune, Sony Reader, Barnes &; Noble Nook, Blackberry, and many more.
Libraries nationwide get their digital media collections from two main sources; Overdrive Digital Media, and NetLibrary. Both offer both e-books and audio books. Overdrive Digital Media also offers movies.
Since I recently moved from Seattle to Washington, DC; I’ve had the opportunity to compare and contrast their library digital media collections.
One thing that makes the Seattle Public Library special is its “Freegal” music collection. It includes all kinds of music, including modern, popular tunes that you might not readily assume would be available from the library.
In the Washington, DC area however, the kind of music you can download from the library leans more toward jazz and other more traditional forms of music.
One very different and unique digital audio collection available online is that of the US Library of Congress. It includes speeches by famous American leaders, Vaudeville performances, band music from the Civil War era, and much more. http://www.loc.gov/rr/record/onlinecollections.html
If you’re more into modern technology than historic audio; the Seattle Public Library has an amazing resource you will really appreciate. Safari Books Online is a treasure trove of information on topics such as e-commerce, marketing, web design, social media, and software applications.
Want to find out more? Here are some links to get you started. You’ll need a library card to check out and download your selections.
Seattle Public Library:
King County Public Library:
Snohomish County Public Library
Arlington County Public Library
District of Columbia Public Library
Fairfax County Public Library