Kansas State Library Card
I learned about the coolest thing today - the Kansas State Library card. They probably have a version of it in your state, and maybe even in your city.
I went to the reference department at lunchtime today to get the Consumer Reports information about what kind of exterior paint to use on my house. (Pratt and Lambert Accolade Eggshell, flat finish white, btw) When I talked with the reference librarian, she gave me a Kansas Library Card and a tour of all it gives you access to.
With this handy dandy little card, which is free to Kansas residents, (thank you, legislators!) you have access to magazines, newspapers, books, audio books, and tons of other reference materials. Genealogy information, history, census records and more are as close as your keyboard.
As I understand it, different libraries have different "packages" of materials, so it could vary tremendously. But, you can search historic New York Times editions and then find the latest Consumer Reports information.
Needless to say, I'm quite infatuated with the whole concept. It's designed to give all libraries - even in rural areas - top notch research and reference capabilities.
It's a fabulous idea, well executed, and a great use of tax money. Thank you to everyone involved for doing something worthwhile in a very smart fashion.
I was just thinking I needed to spend more time online...