Flutterby™! : FTW: Public Library

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FTW: Public Library

2010-01-04 17:40:54.792247+00 by ebradway 1 comments

A couple weeks ago, I ran into the Boulder Public Library to get a library card. Being a "professional academic", I have access to the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries (there are six on the Boulder campus) and the US Geological Survey Libraries. That's an amazing amount of bibliotechnic resources. I can even request books and articles through literally hundreds of other libraries via inter-library loan.

So why was I tromping into the Boulder Public Library within an hour of opening with my driver's license and recent utility bill in hand? To get a library card and reserve one of dozens of Kill-a-Watt power usage meters that the library now checks out through a joint program with Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity. Even though they just started checking them out that day and I was in within an hour of opening, I ended up number 37 on the wait list (for 14 units, max three week checkout).

Public libraries may be struggling to stay relevant in this era of Amazon and Kindles. But I think they are really finding their niche - it's just not in lending out dusty tomes of decade-old best sellers. I just jumped onto my own local library's website, the Longmont Public Library, because I saw an announcement that they, too, will be lending out Kill-a-Watts. While there, something else caught my eye: downloadable books-on-mp3 and videos!

All for the low, low price of FREE! I can download MP3s of recent releases and classics like The Canterbury Tales, A collection of Kurt Vonnegut novels read by the author, even Atlas Shrugged.

[ related topics: Books Current Events Education Public Services ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 19:33:14.030063+00 by: meuon

That the millions of dollars that have gone into "smart grid city" equate to 14 each of a $25 energy usage gadget for most of the residents is ridiculous.