Fresno Beehive

Forget the books, here’s a reason to get your library card now

Jillyan Castro, 14, left, and her cousin, Jaye Ramirez, 11, both of Fresno, check out the books at the Betty Rodriguez Regional Library on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in east central Fresno. Fresno County's newest, most highly technologically advanced library opened in the former site of a Fresh & Easy store. The new library features a 3-D printer, robotics kits, the most up-to-date 21st Century learning technology, a meeting room for 50, group study spaces and a separate quiet reading room.
Jillyan Castro, 14, left, and her cousin, Jaye Ramirez, 11, both of Fresno, check out the books at the Betty Rodriguez Regional Library on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in east central Fresno. Fresno County's newest, most highly technologically advanced library opened in the former site of a Fresh & Easy store. The new library features a 3-D printer, robotics kits, the most up-to-date 21st Century learning technology, a meeting room for 50, group study spaces and a separate quiet reading room. sflores@fresnobee.com

New York Times writer Mike McPhate is becoming my new favorite.

Earlier this week, he gave a compelling argument on the virtues of living in Fresno. This morning, he gets a mention in for the Fresno County Public Library system.

Most of us realize the importance of having a good library system. Enough that we re-approved a one-eighth-of-a-cent sales tax in 2012. And we all know how people love taxes.

In full disclosure, I volunteer on the the Friends of the Fresno County Public Library board.

Many don’t realize the library is more than books and Internet access or a place for kids to hang out after school (though all of that is true). As McPhate mentions, the modern library has some pretty awesome tricks up its sleeves.

In Fresno, that includes Freegal, which lets you stream and download free music with your library card. You don’t even need to go into the library proper and there is an app in case mobile is your thing.

The catalog culls from all the Sony Music labels; some eight millions songs, across genres. From there featured artist list alone there’s Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, Calvin Harris, Barbra Streisand and Usher. I’m listening to Ke$ha right now (and loving it). You can create your own playlist (at three hours of streaming per day) or choose from Freegal’s picks, which include topically stuff Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. You can also download up to five songs each week.

You can get a free library card at any of the Fresno Country Public Library location.

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee

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