Stay home, yet visit library

09/23/2010 12:00 AM |

Riverhead Free Library adult program coordinator Nancy Whitt (right) explains the workings of the new to Samantha Belbey (left) and Brionna Cook, both of Riverhead.

Here’s one more reason to get a library card.

Using the new website, patrons of Suffolk County public libraries can now download e-books, music and videos, search for jobs, and even read articles from historic local newspapers. is a digitized branch through which the county’s 56 public libraries offer the latest premium information sites and social media.

The Riverhead Free Library unveiled the site Tuesday, Sept. 21, when librarians at events across the county demonstrated the online tools.

“It’s all of our digital services in one spot,” Nancy Whitt, adult program coordinator at the Riverhead Free Library, said while demonstrating the site for patrons. “It’s like one-stop shopping.”

The website also offers resources such as homework help, an “Ask a Librarian” chat function available daily until midnight, research databases and information resources in Spanish.

Members must enter the number on their library cards to gain access to the site, officials said.

Riverhead Free Library Director Lisa Jacobs said the new resource will be convenient for people looking for career advice, homework help or who want to download a movie after hours.

“Because of the hours I work, I use the [library] website quite often,” said library patron Diane Barba of Calverton.

Ms. Barta said she loves the ease of ordering a book online and having it ready for pickup the following day.

“It’s like I’m ordering it, but not paying for it,” she said. “It’s just so convenient.”

Designed for all ages, the new website especially attempts to reach older generations who are now flocking to the internet and learning more advanced computer skills.

Ms. Jacobs said libraries have traditionally had trouble letting the public know what kind of services they offer. The Suffolk County libraries hired a private marketing firm to brand the website so that cardholders can quickly and easily identify it.

Downloading from home might be easy, but what if you have taken out an actual book and can’t make it back to the library to return it on time?

“No worries,” Ms. Jacobs said. “You can pay your fine online.”

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