Get Carded (at the Library)

by Mary O. Fumento
August 2009

The richest person in the world - in fact all the riches in the world - couldn't provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library.  ~Malcolm Forbes

It’s not a question of age at the library, but we do want you to be carded library carded that is.  September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when libraries across the country remind people that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Library cards can be replaced for free this month, too.

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

Beyond the wonderful books and journals we have on our shelves, the Washakie County Library System has access to more than 60 online databases which include: 12,000 magazines or journals; 1,400 eAudiobooks; and reference sources. Visit our web site at and put your library card to good use.


Using the library system databases to gain access to valuable information is faster and more accurate than Google.  You won’t have to swim through ads, either.

For instance, health research on the Internet is particularly fraught with the danger of getting wrong information.  Is the web site written by an unbiased authority?  How old is the data? Try one of the free library health databases on our web site and know you are receiving well-written, authoritative documents.

One of the library databases is Alt Healthwatch, which focuses on the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness. It offers full text articles for nearly 180 international, and often peer-reviewed journals and reports. In addition, there are hundreds of pamphlets, booklets, special reports, original research and book excerpts.

Another database is Health Source Consumer Edition is a rich collection of consumer health information. This resource provides access to nearly 80 full text, consumer health magazines, including American Fitness, Better Nutrition, Fit Pregnancy, Harvard Health Letter, HealthFacts, Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, Prevention, Vegetarian Times, and many others. This database also includes searchable full text for current, health-related pamphlets and more than 130 health reference books.

Tech Tips

While on the web, there are many helpful non-library sites, too.  If you are in the mood for book buying, try  This site is one-stop ecommerce search engine that searches over 150 million books for sale—new, used, rare, out-of-print, and textbooks.  This is a terrific way to find the right book at the right price.  And when you are finished reading your book, donate it to the library. 

If you are not in the mood to return to the classroom, let it come to you by visiting Academic Earth at . This site provides videos of lectures by top scholars in subjects that range from astronomy to entrepreneurship to religion, and come from universities as celebrated as MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford. Visitors must register to view the lectures, but registration is free. There are over 1,500 video lectures available, with more being added every day. You can keep a playlist or download favorite lectures.

If you need a change of scenery, visit the web site The National Parks: America's Best Idea at This web site was created to complement the film by American filmmaker Ken Burns profiling his own broad look at the National Park System. Narrated by Peter Coyote, this documentary takes a look at the evolution of the National Park idea from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present day. In the "Learn More" area, you can watch video clips from the program. You can "Get Involved" by sharing your National Park stories and contributing to comments on the "Conservation Nation" weblog. In the "Spread the Word" area, try sending virtual postcards, downloading computer wallpaper, and even collecting virtual Park badges.  It’s worth a stop to appreciate some of the most beautiful areas in the U.S.

Holiday Closing

While we enjoy being here for you, please note the library system will be closed Sept. 5-7 for the Labor Day holiday. Please do stop by the library system to stock up on all of your reading and viewing favorites before the holiday weekend.

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