Digital world benefits right under your nose

From time to time, I write about the bountiful benefits we can harvest by embracing the digital world. One of my favorite sayings is how technology is in every nook and cranny of our lives, which is an increasingly true statement.

Ever since the internet became widely available, traditional institutions and businesses that thrived in the real world started to embrace the digital world. That, from a simpleton viewpoint, benefits consumers.

One such institution that continues to embrace the deepening convergence of the real and digital worlds are the libraries. The digital benefits offered to library patrons, both directly and indirectly, are staggering and complement the library's traditional benefits.

Take our very own Westlake Porter Public Library as an example.

My earliest recollection of WPPL embracing the digital world were their electronic book offerings, “eBooks,” where otherwise traditionally bound books became available for checkout by WPPL patrons over the internet on devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones.

How exciting it was to find WPPL, and many area libraries, also starting to offer digital editions of their magazine collection over the internet through a collaboration with a digital publisher. The liberating feeling of not having to pay for magazine subscriptions plus not having to deal with the confetti of postcards falling out of the magazine reminding me to start a subscription was priceless.

Being a lifelong learner, I strive to learn something new every day. These days my quest for learning is unofficially sponsored in part by another library patron benefit: MOOCs. Massive Open Online Courses are internet-based classes that offer video lectures and electronic learning materials. They are a fabulous way to satiate my hunger for knowledge as there are many websites at the ready even during the witching hours of the night. I was delighted to discover another Porter Library patron benefit: I had access to a leading MOOC subscription website … for FREE! That’s a savings of at least $19 per month, thanks to my library.

Although I can recommend an appropriate digital world tool for an individual’s unique use case, I'm useless in helping my wife chose one vacuum cleaner over another. When asked, I would secretly consult the Consumer Reports publication on the library shelves. Now WPPL has a link to Consumer Reports' subscription-only website that I can access with my patron ID, saving me another $30 a year!

These are only some of the benefits I can enjoy as a patron of Porter Library – a library that continues to embrace the digital world heads-on. Visit the super helpful librarians and staff of WPPL in the real world to learn more about their digital-world benefits for patrons!

Tak Sato

Business and technology strategist/consultant with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

As founder of geek with a heart, "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, Schools, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

Read More on The Digital World
Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:47 AM, 02.02.2016