Through the new website users can access Mango Languages, a program comparable to Rosetta Stone, and learn Spanish, French, Russian, Italian, or Japanese at any time from their own computer. This service is available to any library card holder at no cost. In addition to Mango Languages, there are many additional databases that suit almost any need. Through the state-sponsored Louisiana Library Connection, users can learn how to repair their car with the Auto Repair Database, review America's Newspapers and Magazines, take practice tests for the ACT, SAT, EMT, Nursing, or Praxis, and get homework help for students of all ages. Perhaps one of the most interesting places to go is to Heritage Quest, a genealogy service where users can begin researching their family tree. And once the genealogy journey has begun patrons can continue to connect the dots at their branch library on Ancestry Library Edition. This edition of Ancestry will take users deeper than they can imagine, giving them access to birth, marriage, death, military and immigration records and voter lists.
The website also features a new Online Book Club. By simply entering their e-mail address, a patron can join fiction, non-fiction, business, science fiction, mystery, romance, good news, thriller and other clubs. Each day a portion of a new bestseller will be e-mailed to them, giving them "a taste" of that book. A new book is featured each week for each club. Patrons can also join in conversation with other readers from around the world. Patrons can, of course, browse the library's catalog for books DVDs, unabridged audio books, award-winning college courses on CD and DVD, and Accelerated Reading and home-schooling materials.
"One of the new items on the website that I find interesting is the Value Calculator," says Bradford. "Users can use this tool to see how much they are saving by borrowing from the library, instead of renting or buying materials, or paying for programs that we offer. In our culture where people are looking for inexpensive ways communicate and get information fast, a good website is an absolute necessity."
Using these and the many other benefits of the public library, users will find that they can easily get what they need, when they need it for little to no out-of-pocket cost. "These services - many of them available 24/7 - already belong to you as a citizen of our Parish," continued Bradford. "They are there to take you anywhere you want to go." Touring the world and elsewhere is as easy as stopping by your local branch and getting your free library card.