I just checked out four new books tonight, from the local library. It was after midnight, I was in my pjs, and the library itself was obviously closed. But thanks to the new ebook lending collection on their website, I was able to find four new-to-me authors and download their books to read on my nook.
I also downloaded three songs, the maximum allowed by the library's contract with Freegal. Every week, I can legally download three songs to add to my iTunes library, and Freegal is adding new songs/albums/artists every day. In fact, my kids are hooked on Freegal too, downloading three Glee songs apiece every week during the TV season. They go live a week after the episode airs, so my kids have had to learn patience, but they think it's worth it to have access to the songs without blowing their entire allowance every week.
Both features are pointed to as a sign that the library system is trying to keep up with the digital revolution, and in my opinion, they're definitely succeeding.
I still love going to the library and browsing the shelves, seeing what's faced out by the library staff, looking for new books by my favorite authors. But I like the flexibility of checking for new reads and new tunes on my own schedule as well, surfing through the list of books on my laptop on the couch.
Gorgeous Carnegie-designed library within walking distance, AND electronic resources at my fingertips? The best of both worlds, in my opinion. What do you think?