The London, Ontario, Public Library: A New Mega-Library

The London Public Library opened its doors on Nov. 26, 1895, in London, Ontario Canada, under the Free Public Libraries Act of 1882. Since that time it has grown to include 16 branches, special programs for kids and teens, computer equipment for people with special needs, a visiting library, and a free tutoring program for children struggling with literacy, among other things.

With information easily accessible on home computers, you would think libraries would be a thing of the past, but mega-libraries like these are not your grandma’s library. The London Public Library offers author readings, discussion groups and book clubs, computers and technology, movies, shows and concerts, workshops and classes, and extensive collections of material for enjoyment, learning and growth. Its goal is to be the community hub with resources to help you, “whether you are looking for parenting advice, need to know how to build a deck, or need a quiet place to read or connect with people.”

As engaging and helpful as the London Public Library branches are, in today’s fast-paced life style, many people enjoy the convenience of downloading information for use at home or on the road, and find libraries, therefore, an antiquated resource. With a growing collection of free downloadable media, the London Public Library not only meets these needs, it exceeds it by supplying links to resource material and informative web sites as well.

Using The London Public Library From Home

It may not cost much to download movies and ebooks from bookstores, but in today’s tough economic times, when every penny counts, you just can’t beat something that is free. By going to the London Public Library web site home page, and clicking on “download,” you have access to audio books, ebooks, and videos that can be downloaded to your home computer or iPod, iPad, Kindle, you name it.

The process begins by setting up an account online and following the instructions that advise you to first download and install their free software. You then activate the software and check out and download your selections. When your borrowing time is up, you will not be able to activate your selections any more, and then have to delete the title from your media player. This works great for everything from loading audiobooks to your iPod to listen to during your next vacation to downloading Cliff Notes to use on your next term paper.

Researching Information On The London Public Library Web Site

When researching information on the London Public Library web site, you not only have access to books and downloadable media, you are also supplied with links to web sites and articles on your subject of interest. Their information databases include links to magazines, newspapers, academic journals and encyclopedia articles. If you are researching the subject of fine art, for example, you immediately get your choice of reference books, books, recommended web sites, and community information web sites on the subject. This instant access to the pertinent links not only supplies you with useful information beyond your request, it speeds up your search time tremendously.

Like any library, you can reserve a book online and then pick it up to enjoy at home, from everything from Beowulf to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, but unlike any library, the London Public Library is a place that strives to make a difference in the community by enriching and empowering individuals, families, and neighborhoods. Lucky for us, because of modern technology, this community extends and includes the world.




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