Thursday, July 17, 2008

Your local public library

It took me too many years to avail myself of our municipal commonwealth by using a library card. Why was I purchasing books I only intended to read once when I could be checking them out for nothing? Same with magazines. Why would I subscribe to Consumer Reports when I only make a few durable goods purchases per annum?

These days, an Austin Public Library card is all you need to MasterFILE Premier, an online database that allows you to access content from current and back issues of general interest periodicals, trade publications and academic journals. Hundreds of publications can be accessed, including firewalled periodicals like Consumer Reports, Texas Monthly and the Wall Street Journal. In the case of Consumer Reports, you can download full text versions of articles as PDFs. How cool is that?

While the database is somewhat cumbersome if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, it is free and you don't have to schlep to the library to get it. MasterFILE Premier and similar library databases can be accessed here.

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