A great idea for a New Year's Resolution

New Year's ResolutionsIt's that time of year - time to make that New Year's Resolution again. You know the one. It's the same one you've made - and broken - countless times before. But this year will be different, right? You're going to stick to that diet / quit those ciggies / keep going to the gym / [insert your Resolution here] this year unlike past years where you lasted about, what, a week or two? On a good year? Well I say forget putting yourself through that torture this year. I've got a much better idea. Resolve, in 2014, to use your public library more often! What's not to like about that? There is no deprivation involved. In fact, you'll enrich your life considerably. It won't cost you a lot of money. In fact, it could save you a bundle. For a lot of people their public library has never been a big part of their lives. Maybe you are one of them. So make 2014 the year you change that. Learn about all of the services we offer. Learn how you can save money by taking advantage of your tax dollars at work.

If you are a reader, are you the type who buys just about every book you ever read? Sure it's more convenient but is it really worth the cost? We have more books on our shelves than you can possibly ever read, even if you only count the ones likely to be of interest to you. Trust me, as someone whose reading list only grows longer, never shorter, all of your reading needs can easily be supplied by the library. And if we don't have a title you want, just request it from us and we'll do our best to get it for you. Do you read mostly best-sellers and purchase them because you hate waiting lists? Try being proactive and putting holds on upcoming bestsellers so you get them more quickly. You can logon to your account online to place holds, and you can find out what we have on order by checking this link to our catalog or subscribing to our weekly "Wowbrary" newsletter.

Have you given up on paper books and only read ebooks now? The library is part of a statewide consortium subscription to the Overdrive service which offers thousands of ebooks (and audiobooks) for free download. You have complete access. All you need is a library card. All of the ebook titles are in our online catalog. Just search for the term 'Overdrive' in our catalog and you'll find them all. Click the "Get it" link and you'll be brought straight to the Overdrive site where you can log in and get the title you want (or place a hold on it.) Did you just get an e-reader or tablet computer for Christmas and need help figuring out how to download Overdrive titles to it? We're here to answer your questions.

Are you more of a magazine and newspaper kind of reader? We have all the local papers, and some of the bigger national ones like USA Today, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily. You'll have to come into the library to read them of course, but we're a comfy spot that is warm in winter, cool in summer, and very friendly too! There's a great social benefit to reading in the library as well. You'll get to bump into friends, neighbors and strangers who aren't yet friends. As for magazines, the library subscribes to close to 200, and you can see a list here. You can also visit the online newsstand to read a selection of popular magazines online, or use our Ebscohost service to search several thousand magazine titles, many available in full text.

What? You're not much of a reader? Aside from suggesting that doing more reading would also be a good New Year's Resolution, I want to remind you that we have a lot more than books, magazines and newspapers here. We have a large collection of new and old DVD and Blu-ray movies, including most of the big new releases. Even more popular than the movies sometimes are the TV series sets we carry on DVD. Whether it's Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Homeland, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Duck Dynasty and many more, you'll find plenty to keep you busy. And as with books, if there is a movie or TV series we don't have that you'd like to see, just put in a request and we'll see what we can do.

Are you struggling at home with a cranky computer or printer, or perhaps having trouble affording your high-speed Internet access? We have 17 Internet stations here with high-speed access and good laser printers, both color and black and white. We'll charge you for the printouts, but use of the computers is free. We also have wireless access throughout the building (and even in the parking lot) that many people use with their own laptops because they don't have an Internet connection at home.

Let's not forget the children! Our Children's Room has thousands of books, magazines, movies, music, puzzles and puppets for you to choose from, as well as very popular programs and activities throughout the year. If you are a parent don't deny your child the wonder of regular visits to the library. And while you are in our Children's Room check out the Parent Shelf for some good parent-oriented reading.

There are a number of other services that many people are unaware of. We have passes and discounts to many local museums that can be checked out. You can take a wide varity of free online classes through Universal Class. You just need a library card to sign up. That same card will give you access to the Morningstar Investment Research Center, which offers comprehensive investment advice and tools to grow your portfolio. Transparent Language Online will help you learn to speak and read about 80 different languages. Genealogists will want to check out our subscription to HeritageQuest, Ancestry.com and the databases of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. (The latter two can only be accessed from library computers.)

In closing, I want to let those of you who do plan on pursuing a more 'traditional' New Year's Resolution, that we do have resources here at the library to help you lose weight or eat right or exercise more or write your will or whatever it is that you want to do. Start your new year off on the right foot by (re)visiting your public library to find out all that we have to offer.

See you in the library!

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