Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t need to use the library, everything I need is available on the Internet?”

While a wealth of information is available on the Internet, it is not always easy to know which of the tens of thousands of web sites out there are accurate and up-to-date. In addition, much of the most useful information is not free. The advantage of using your local public library is that library staff knows the sorts of questions their patrons ask.

Downers Grove Public Library offers dozens of online reference databases that have been selected by our professional librarians to provide information on the subjects that are most requested by library patrons. A few databases can only be used in the library, but whenever possible we select online reference databases that allow us to give library members remote access. Your library card number identifies you as a member of the Downers Grove Public Library who is entitled to use our databases. With your library card you can use your library’s databases from anywhere you choose – home, work, from your laptop in a local coffee shop, or from a computer in another country.

This fall when I spent a month in India, I was invited to give a talk to a local Rotary International Club in Chennai. In spite of being 8,000 miles away with a 12 hour time difference I used Downers Grove Public Library reference databases to research my topic and prepare my speech. Any library cardholder can do the same thing, 24 hours per day, when and where it is most convenient for her or him. One more reason why the Downers Grove Public Library is the place to go when you need to know.