Many of us remember a time when getting your first library card was a rite of passage. Stepping into the library, filling out some details, and getting your card stamped for the first time signaled entry into the world of learning. Now, as time marches on, brick and mortar libraries are giving way to virtual collections, where borrowers can download and read texts online or via e-readers.
So what do these changes call for? A virtual library card. And the best place to sign up for one is the Internet Archive, a huge virtual library filled with text, audio, video, and photography. Much of its collection is open source downloads, such as the Guggenheim’s collection of modern art books or early 20th century 78rpm record recordings, but some texts are available exclusively for lending. This is where the library card comes in.
Simply sign up for free and you’ll be able to borrow up to 5 books at a time for a period of two weeks. Books can be read in a browser or downloaded as a PDF or EPUB version to read on your device using Adobe Digital Editions, which is available for free download. If the book you’re interested in is currently checked out, simply click a button to be put on a waitlist.
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