Electronic Resources? Why? What Are They?

At a recent book discussion meeting we somehow started talking about shows we liked from Acorn-TV and courses we’ve taken from The Great Courses. Only a few of the people knew that the library offered 7-day passes for several streaming services including Acorn-TV and The Great Courses. The others asked if I could do a program that showed how to access the wide range of electronic resources we offer. This made a lot of sense to me since we are adding Hoopla to our collection in July. The program will be held twice — once on Wednesday, August 21, at 2 pm and again on Thursday, August 22, at 6:30 pm.

Why do we have electronic resources?

One great reason is that it allows us to increase our collection without taking up any physical space at the library! Yay, less weeding for me!

Another is that we realize that people now are getting used to reading, listening, and watching on their televisions, tablets, computers and phones. Rather than buying books from Amazon, buying audio books from Audible, or subscribing to a streaming service, we can save you money by providing you with choices through the library. We’ve always been about FREE FOR EVERYONE!

Convenience is another reason. If you have a smartphone and bluetooth in your car, you can download an audiobook to listen on your commute. There is such a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction available through OverDrive/Libby that you can find the perfect book for your mood. Also if you are on vacation, or you finished your book on your way to work, or the book didn’t really fit your mood, you can find another one without actually going to the library. All you need is a connection to the internet with wifi or your data plan. Many people stock up on books to read when they go abroad so that they don’t have to carry the books themselves. My husband and I watched the Law School for Everyone course while on vacation because I could hook my laptop up to the hotel television. (Not on our 2nd trip, though. The television input links weren’t accessible.)

What does the library offer?

Our oldest offering is through OverDrive. There is an Overdrive app for Kindle and the newest version, Libby, for most every other device. You can use the app to download ebooks, eAudiobooks, and even magazines. This is offered by the SAILS consortium, but also has access to almost all of the other library groups in the state including Boston, Minuteman and more. This is available to all SAILS library card holders.

Another resource that is available to everyone is the databases that are accessible through Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. There is no special app for this and works best on regular computers. You can read full text magazines articles and newspapers from 36, 399 sources.


Other resources can only be used by Richards Memorial Library card holders. Your card has to say Richards Memorial Library on it.

  • Lynda.com (which is owned by Linkedin) has large series of video courses on most business applications, help for business owners and managers, music and photography resources and more. You take the courses at your own pace.  
  • RB Digital offers 7-day passes when you choose on of the seven offerings: Acorn-TV, Great Courses, Learn it Live, Method Test Prep, Stingray Qello (music concerts), IndieFlix and Pongalo Novelaclub (Spanish movies and tv.)
  • Hoopla can be accessed from the SAILS/Enterprise catalog or through the Hoopla app. Create an account with your library card. Learn about our limitations on our website.
  • Through Biblioboard you can find local Massachusetts documents, local histories, books, videos and more as well as a way to self-publish your own material.

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