Many people do not know how easy it is to access millions of books, pictures, music, videos, and more through free services that are available to everyone. Cambridge has great library resources for its residents, and now libraries and affiliated institutions throughout the Commonwealth have joined together to share their resources, ensuring that if local libraries do not have an item on hand, you will almost certainly be able to find it quickly and easily.
The Commonwealth Catalog is a collaboration of libraries and library networks that together hold more than 44 million items. If your local library does not have a certain material but it can be found in the Commonwealth Catalog, it can be delivered quickly to your library in a matter of days.
Another great resource is the Digital Commonwealth, which has thousands of digitized images, documents, and recordings that you can access for free. The digitized materials include historically significant pictures and records, and the collection is invaluable for conducting research or simply satisfying your interest in our cultural heritage.
If you have an e-reader and prefer digital versions of print materials, you might consider taking advantage of the eBooks for Everyone program, which allows patrons to borrow materials for their iPads, Kindles, or other devices. You can also sign up for an online library card from the Boston Public Library, which allows any Massachusetts resident – even college students who are here temporarily – to access thousands of digital materials.
These resources have something to offer to everyone and provide great opportunities for residents of the Commonwealth. Whether you are a student looking to save money by borrowing books rather than buying them, a history buff looking for historic photos and maps, or simply a music enthusiast, you will be able to find what you’re looking for- and more- through these services. Be sure to take a look at what these resources have to offer.