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There are so many paid-for-everything subscription services these days that it can be easy to forget about the original and best service you’re already paying in your taxes for: the library.

If you are not used to libraries, or if you haven’t been for a few decades, you can still imagine that the library is just one big room of books and stern people obsessed with silence. But in 2021, libraries have fully embraced the technology, whether it’s offering computers, music studios, and 3D printers (and community sessions on how to use them), or e-lending apps.

Kanopy is a streaming service that works like Netflix, except your library pays you to watch a certain number of movies per month.

If you are new to reading more eBooks and prefer to read them for free (which I highly recommend) then you should go to your library and get a loan card. When registering, be sure to ask the librarian which apps your area uses and how to connect to them. Many libraries will also allow you to register with the library website, so you don’t even have to live nearby or change out of your comfortable reading pants.

The main applications used by libraries in Australia are Loan box, Libby, CloudLibrary, Fraying and Kanopy. Depending on the licenses paid by your library, this grants access to hundreds of thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, movies and other content that you would expect to find in your library (including new releases as well as classics). ).

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The process of using is usually as easy as logging in with your membership number and password, then searching for what you want to read / watch / listen to. It’s kind of like any paid subscription app, but no money exchange. There are usually limits on how long you can keep borrowed items; just like physical books, the library only pays for so many copies. But, if there is no one waiting to borrow this book after you, you can usually just extend the loan.

Even state libraries, which do not normally allow you to borrow physical books from their collection, have special e-book lending systems that open access to their digital collections for free.

It is worth registering with all the libraries you are entitled to in order to access the widest range of free information. Libraries are such a valuable community resource, and you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t take advantage of all they have to offer.


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