Although I have lived in Las Vegas since December, I hadn’t yet picked up a local library card. I did so last week and I was very surprised.
My local branch (external link) doesn’t have any special in house resources, but they give you an amazing library card. For free.
The card allows you to log on to all sorts of databases that would otherwise cost you a great deal. Among them, the entire collection of the New York Times, a hundred years of the Los Angeles Times, and access to Gale’s NewsVault, which contains four hundred years of newspapers. It gets better.
Unlike the Old Days of a few years ago, the library does not require you to query databases from their building’s terminals. Instead, you are free to go home and access everything remotely. This is a big change.
I used to have to establish a researcher card at a university library before I got to go online with these kind of resources. Today, that’s just a memory. I’m still going to UNLV, to see what a library card there offers, but for right now I am doing fine.
If it’s been a few years since you visited your local library I would urge you to go. You just might be amazed.