OK, you’ve saved money in the library, and you’re renewing online to prevent any chance of paying overdue fines (see Hang about, save cash). Your reading group has cut its costs by borrowing sets of books from Westminster Libraries (see Huddle together and save money) Where else can you save?
Admittedly this only works if you’ve got a laptop or smartphone, or your mouse stretches to the bedside cabinet. Otherwise, you may have to make your savings in a sitting position. What I’m rabbiting on about is the grandly-named Exclusive Resources, part of Westminster Libraries’ 24/7 Library.
These are web-based reference and information databases, and they are exclusive in the sense that you have to be a library member to use them (and prove it by entering your card number if you use them outside a library).
Do they sound a bit dry, rather worthy, meant for someone with a grey beard and a worried expression? Fear not – I have some highly entertaining rabbits in this size 6¾ hat.
First rabbit is Library Press Display. Hmm… not very exciting so far. But give it a go. It has newspapers, in full colour facsimile, from around the world. And they usually pop up on the screen before the print version hits the newsstands. Now it’s more interesting, eh?
For example, if you try LPD mid-morning, find a paper from the USA – the Baltimore Sun, say. Now the good folks of Baltimore, being 5 hours behind us, will be mostly still be tucked up in bed, but the morning edition of the Sun will probably already be on Library Press Display, from the front page splash to the back page feature. You can even do the crossword, although you’ll have to print it off if you want to fill in the answers.
Running reminder: this is all free stuff for library members.
Second rabbit – Naxos Music Online. This is music – classical, jazz, folk, blues, nostalgia, pop and rock, and much more – streamed to your computer. Every track that Naxos put on their discs they also put on the website, together with music from scores of other labels.
The disc count is approaching 44,000, and they add an average of 500 discs per month. Make your choice, set it going, and beautiful music accompanies your work or play (as long as you chose well, that is).
At no cost to you – what’s not to like?
Now I’ve given you the ammunition, you can go to the list of Exclusive Resources (always available via the 24/7 Library links all over the website) and shoot your own rabbits.