Happy SMART Day Everyone!
During the last couple of months SMART Living 365 has made it a habit to recommend a website or resource that brings richness to our lives. Most of our recommendations have been online businesses or charities—but today’s recommendation is something many people (at least those that live in the US) take for granted. And while some of our readers are international, and not every US citizen lives in an area with a large library system, we still want to point out the amazing benefits many of us can regularly use to increase the quality of our lives—and it’s mostly free! That resource is your local public library.
Thom and I live in the Coachella Valley of California in a city named La Quinta. Our local library is filled with many of the typical library resources that most of us are familiar with—books—both fiction and nonfiction, many leading magazines, numerous newspapers from around the county and internationally, books on tape—both fiction and non fiction, and quite a few DVD movies—both documentaries and mainstream entertainment. There are also US government forms and other local information. All these resources are available FREE to anyone who applies for a library card. That’s it! You don’t need to buy books, you don’t need to rent movies or pay for movie channels on your TV. This vast assortment of education and entertainment is yours for the asking.
But even though the gift of a local library is pretty amazing if you use even a small portion of its service, an even more astounding gift is available if your library system has expanded to online resources. For example: as a member of the Inland Library System I can now download books onto my Kindle reader—all for free—for a total of two weeks! That’s right, many libraries now offer books available on different electronic readers. The list of titles is growing, and much of the time you have to go on a waiting list to read the book you are interested in—but it’s all free. Of course, you have to have an electronic reader to begin with, but once you do, you virtually never have to buy another book again.
But that’s not all. Within our local library system we can also go and down load current songs and music for a week. The program used is called Freegal, and it has all types of music to choose from. Need something more practical? How about learning a foreign language? Through an interactive educational program named Auralog, you can learn English, Spanish, French or German absolutely free. Then there is a tutoring program for students, a Career listing program for those looking for work, reference and database listings for finding businesses or people all over the country, oh, and on a very practical level they even have Automobile Manuals where you can look up information and instructions on just about every vehicle there is—talk about practical!
There is way too much information for me to tell you all about in a short recommendation but I strongly suggest you check it out for yourself. So many people spend a great deal of money buying books and other resources when they could access the information –for FREE—by knowing where to look for it. Where I live the link is: http://rivlib.info/riverside-county-library-system/weblinks Of course don’t forget the physical library itself for a huge benefit that is yours for the taking. True SMART Living 365 is all about remembering the good we already have, and using and sharing the resources that are at our fingertips. Start today by exploring what your library system offers you—for free!
“The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.” ~Carl Sagan, Cosmos
“The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library.” ~Malcolm Forbes
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/304220561/sizes/l/in/photostream/