Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Great options through libraries

In Alameda, we have the Alameda Free Library system. You do have to be a resident of the City of Alameda, and show one utility bill when you apply for a card. They have regular books, magazines, newspapers, manga and graphic novels (child, youth, and adult), VHS and DVD movies, and audio books on cassette, CD, MP3, and Playaway. Playaways are awesome because they require no iPod, cassette player, nor CD player: you just plug your headphones (or your FM transceiver, for the car) into the jack, supply a AAA battery, and go. It's solid state, so no moving parts, and remembers where you were in the audio book (but not the volume level, which is a pet peeve of mine). The Alameda Free Library also has multiple eBooks and audio books available online through the Overdrive system. (Note that many of the audio titles are not available to play on iPods, another pet peeve.) Alameda Free also has a tool lending service, but I haven't used it yet and don't know how well it works or what is available.

But we are also in the Alameda County library system. You can get a card online! This card not only allows you to check out books at the Alameda County branches, it also allows you to borrow passes to museums and aquariums in the area. This library system also offers electronic books through the NoveList site, but I'm not familiar with it yet.

Finally, if you can go into San Francisco in person, you can get a San Francisco Public Library card. They have two or three times the number of books available online (Kindle and other ebooks, and audio books). It's highly worthwhile to fill out the form ahead of time, to make the process faster. Since I'm not in San Francisco that regularly, I'll likely never check out an actual book there.

Three options for free library and library-related services. Wonderful!

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