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Local libraries increase digital offerings


MERIDEN — A library card traditionally entitles one to check out materials and participate in library programs, along with other benefits.

A Meriden Public Library card can now get its holder something else: more than 150 mp3s of free music each year.

The library subscribed to Freegal, a free music download service available to libraries. Library members may download three songs per week using the program, which is accessible from the library website, www.meridenlibrary.org.

The program has a catalog of nearly 3 million songs by artists from more than 60 countries.

The song catalog does not have any content restrictions, Roesler said, so those seeking unsanitzed versions of tracks do not have to worry about edits. Roesler said songs can be downloaded to multiple devices, including computers, tablets and Smartphones, for which a free app is available.

The library has also obtained a subscription to a service called Zinnio that lets members download and store content from 175 magazine publications, such as Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, and Car and Driver.

Library members can download an unlimited number of issues and can get them the same day they are available for purchase, according to Alan Hagyard, executive director of Libraries Online, the public library consortium which ordered the service for its libraries, including those in Meriden and Wallingford.

Cheshire Public Library also provides access to Zinnio, though it obtained the service independently and not through a consortium, according to Bill Basel, head of the library’s reference department. The library also offers a service called IndieFlix that allows its members to access a catalog of independent movies and film shorts. The service is provided by the same company that offers Zinnio, the Maryland-based Recorded Books.

Sue Smayda, executive director of the Southington Library, said the library does not offer Zinnio but does provide access to iCONN and EBSCO, two databases that host their own catalogs of publications, audio books and digital collections.



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