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Avid readers quickly learn that buying books can become an expensive proposition. Instead of buying new books, go to your local library and check out the book. Not only can you save money, but you may find yourself branching out to read books you might have otherwise by-passed.
Computers have helped bring an end to the old-fashioned card catalog, replacing it with easily searchable databases. The internet has helped take this one step further, and many public libraries now have their catalogs available to patrons online.
Many libraries not only have searchable catalogs, but patrons can reserve books online, order materials on inter-library loan, or renew the items they've checked out (no more overdue books!). Contact your local library for more information.
Located in the Philadelphia area, the Darby Free Library is the first continuously-operated public lending library in the United States. Benjamin Franklin helped set up the library, which received its first 45 volumes from London in November 1743. Some of these original books are still on display at the library, while others are at the Library Company of Philadelphia (founded by Franklin in 1731 as a subscription library).
Because of budget cuts, the library faces closure in 2009. The library is accepting donations to assist with operating costs on its website.
Based in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, the Mid-Continent Public Library System has 30 branches in 3 counties. This list includes the Midwest Genealogy Center, a nationally known genealogy research center.
The library offers inter-library loan services (ILL), a library-by-mail project for homebound patrons, and online access to the library catalog and newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
The IPL began as a graduate seminar in the School of Information and Library Studies at the University of Michigan. It has grown into a full-time project, offering the first public library for the internet community.
The Internet Public Library can be found at http://www.ipl.org/.