The library used to be a place you had to get out of bed to use. But what many library card holders in Largo may not know is this: Hundreds of literary, pop-culture, legal and academic books and periodicals are available online — for free, if you have a library card.
The Largo Public Library, like the rest of the public libraries in the county, subscribes to databases that offer these publications all in one place for library members to access from their home computers. Many of the databases cost hundreds of dollars to use otherwise — such as Chilton's automotive manual (a bible for many a tree shade mechanic).
Here's a review of some of the many services that can be accessed at largo.com under the library link.
A service that provides information about more than 40,000 public and private companies including their income, history and corporate executives. For an individual, the cost of entry is a one-time fee of $845.
An investment research service that offers guidance on stocks and other securities, analyst reports and other investment research tools. A yearly subscription for an individual costs $179.
A national directory with information on more than 100 million households in the United States including addresses, telephone numbers, median home value and neighbors within a 5-mile range of an address. Charges a subscription.
With millions of articles spread across dozens of subjects, databases provided by Gale include a war and terrorism collection that offers access to 100 periodicals on the subject; Academic OneFile that offers thousands of academic journal articles; and a criminal justice collection that provides access to 150 law-related journals (useful for those studying law or law enforcement).
Other resources are also available at the library from its on-site computers, including Consumer Reports' full website ($26 per year); Contact Any Celebrity ($29.97 per month), an online directory of famous people's contact information; and the popular genealogy research site Ancestry.com ($29.95 per month).
For information, call the Largo library at (727) 587-6715.