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5 reasons to get a public library card. Really.

If you haven’t visited your library’s website lately, you probably should. The resources might surprise you. They certainly surprised me.

I discovered this weekend that my local libraries (both county AND city) allow you to download audiobooks. I love audiobooks; it’s the only way I get to “read” fiction anymore. So I went to both libraries and got library cards. In the process I discovered a BUNCH of services that my libraries offer, most of which don’t involve ever going back to the library.

  1. Audiobooks for download - I mentioned this above. I love listening to audiobooks when I’m driving or riding my bike. More importantly the books available are all very current.
  2. Videos for download - These appear to be less current, but there are a pile of interesting documentaries and classics. This is interesting because you might not be able to find a video of a book assigned in a class at the local blockbuster if it was old enough.
  3. eBooks - Including study books for many of the technology certification classes
  4. Music - It may not be the latest release, but it is a quick, free and LEGAL way to get new music. If you ever have to do a project that needs background music this is a great resource.
  5. DVDs or CDs - OK, you do have to go into the library for this one, but why pay Blockbuster or Netflix when you can rent new-release and current movies for free?

I know, I know. Your school has a library. But their collection is going to be focused on academic topics. Your public library will be focused on more recreational materials. Popular movies, books, and periodicals that school probably won’t have. Check it out.

Rebecca is a PhD student who is blogging about her academic experiences at