Patrons of can now download up to three songs per week free of charge, thanks to a new program called Freegal.
The library began subscribing to Freegal (rhymes with "legal") in June, allowing its online users access to thousands upon thousands of songs from the Sony music library. Cardholders gain access by using their card number to log in via the library's Freegal portal. Downloads are in MP3 format, which means they don't have to be "returned."
Library director Ted Gutmann said the program makes sense at Emma S. Clark Memorial Library because the library already has very heavily-used online resources.
"This is obviously the kind of thing that our patrons do use, so we thought it would be something they appreciate," Gutmann said in an interview Tuesday.
The library will pay about $10,000 a year for the Freegal service, a price that includes a discount based on cooperative purchasing with other libraries in the county that also became subscribers.
It expands upon what the library offered through its Live-brary program.
"What was available on Live-brary wasn't necessarily the most recent or popular types of songs, so this one gives them access to more popular songs," Gutmann said.
As of mid-day on July 10, the library has seen 359 downloads since subscribing to the Freegal program in June.
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