One of my favorite things about checking out library materials is the fact that I can check out new things, whether they are books, movies, TV shows, or magazines, for free. I love it! Not sure about that new movie? Check it out first to see if you like it. Want to catch up on the gossip magazines without paying $5 an issue? Check them out from the library! Don’t feel like spending $40 on the doorstopper that is The Goldfinch? That’s ok, just check it out from the library!
I only occasionally run into snags with this system. Maybe I’m on vacation already and can’t stop by the library because it’s in Ohio and I’m in North Carolina, or maybe I don’t think I can fit those 5 books into my carry-on and still manage to lift it over my head once I get on the airplane. Sometimes, it’s even simpler: my Sunday afternoon is suddenly wide open, and the library is closed for the day. Fortunately, the library has a wealth of digital resources that can be accessed from anywhere with a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Axis 360 is one of my favorite digital resources the library provides. It’s like a hidden treasure trove of new, popular titles, and usually there is almost no wait time. It doesn’t have hundreds of older titles, but I’m almost always able to get the newest bestsellers with long wait lists on the print editions. It’s my go-to for these newer titles–I was able to check out and read The Girl on the Train without any wait time at all
Another one of my favorites is Flipster. It’s the library’s new eMagazine service. The best part about Flipster: you never have to wait (ever). I use it all the time to read the more popular magazines, especially the weeklies. It’s really easy to download and print pages, which is helpful when I find a new recipe or an article I don’t want to lose. Plus, I’m able to read the Sports Illustrated articles on the latest March Madness developments before the tournament ends in a couple of weeks.
Don’t get me wrong: I still love a good, physical book. It has a heft that you just can’t beat. But when I can’t wait to get my handson a new title (this happens frequently), or I’m traveling and don’t want to increase the weight of my suitcase by 30 pounds, or when the library is closed, etc., going digital provides the solution. And the bottom line is, whether it’s print or it’s digital, as long as I’m reading, I’m happy
-Kathryn Green, Technology Manager