When I bought my first e-reader (a Nook) I found it rather difficult to borrow a library book. I had to go to the computer to download the book, then click-and-drag it to the Nook after I'd connected it to the computer. There may have been a better way to do it at the time, but that's the only way I could figure out.
Things have come a long way, baby! I use the iPad these days with a Kindle app, an Overdrive app, and, more recently, the Libby app recommended by my library. So many books!
Because we're in a rural area of Lafayette County, my online library was from Trails Regional Library. What a wonderful resource I'd found, with the ability to sit in my easy chair at home, check out books, and return them. Of course, if it was a really popular book I'd have to put it on hold and wait for weeks, sometimes months. But it was free and I'm patient, and thankful that at this point in my life I can check books out without making Cliff haul me to a library. I felt rich.
Earlier this year when a friend came by, we were discussing libraries and their digital content. She asked me what library I used and I said, "Trails Regional; it's the only one that's free to me."
"What about Mid-Continent Library?" she asked.
"I'd have to pay for a card there. You have to be in either Jackson, Clay, and Platte County... or else work or own property there, in order to have a free library card."
"Oh no," she exclaimed. "I'm in Lafayette County, and I have a Mid-Continent card."
I didn't think so, but I didn't argue. When she left, I went to the Mid-Continent website to check. Sure enough, I was right:
I didn't give up, although obviously I was right. However, just to prove it to myself, I stopped by the Buckner location, told a lady what my friend had told me, and asked if that was right. She asked where I lived; then she assured me I could, indeed, have a card there. I didn't ask why the website says I can't. Maybe it's proximity to a branch, since Buckner is only ten miles from our house.
Let me tell you, it's great. If I put a hold on a book that has, say, 40 people waiting ahead of me, I don't have a long wait at all, perhaps a week or two. I would assume this is because larger libraries are allowed to lend out more digital copies of a book at the same time. So now, using the "Libby" app, I can choose from two libraries. However, I don't think I'll be using Trails Regional much any more.
Come on, folks. If you're still paying money for books, QUIT that and use your local library. Save your money for Starbucks, or anything else you love.