Use the library from home – online

Anti waste campaigner Karen Cannard
Anti waste campaigner Karen Cannard
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One of the rewarding outcomes of reducing waste is the opportunity to evaluate what we buy, so not only do you end up with less in your black bin but often less in your recycling bin, too.

Sometimes this can also mean tackling clutter in the home, including DVD and CD collection and magazines. And with increasing ownership of PCs, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, switching to digital entertainment has become more popular for many people.

Going digital isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but if you are a fan of eBooks, digital music or even digital magazines, you might like what’s coming up, not only because the service provides you with content at your fingertips but it is also free to access. Yes, FREE.

And its name? It’s actually Suffolk Libraries.

If you haven’t stepped into your local library for a while, 2017 is the year to do it. And these days, they have so much to offer, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home – especially as you can even register online.

Of course, once registered, you can borrow books from any Suffolk library but check this out, too (excuse the pun), you can also download content from their eBook collection, audio books, digital music library and also catch up on some of your favourite magazines that are online.

So if you’re considering treating yourself to a new magazine subscription over the next few months, have a peek at the library catalogue instead. With popular titles such as Cosmopolitan, Good Food, Countryfile, Good Housekeeping, Top Gear, Men’s Health, Women’s Heath and Marie Claire, there’s a lot to keep you busy.

If you enjoy keeping up to speed with research, current affairs or politics, try National Geographic, Time, The Economist or New Scientist. There are also titles to support all kinds of leisure activities including Practical Boat Owner, Cross Stitch Crazy, Gardener’s World, PlayStation, Rasp, Practical Photograph, Mojo and Empire.

But don’t take my word for it, visit the Suffolk Libraries’ website at www.suffolklibraries.co.uk and while you’re there, you’ll also notice that you don’t even have to live in Suffolk to join. If you commute into Suffolk or live in one of the neighbouring counties of Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, you can also register for a library card.

And if you live in Suffolk but spend much of your work or leisure time in Cambridgeshire, it’s worth noting that Cambridgeshire Libraries explicitly mention on their website that residents in neighbouring counties can sign up for their service, too.

On the subject of libraries, there’s also an interesting trend that’s developing in North America and now in the UK, too. Where traditional libraries lend books, etc, projects such as London’s Library of Things allow its community members to (for a small charge) borrow a wide range of household objects.

To see what’s possible, have a browse through the project’s website at www.libraryofthings.co.uk, where examples include baking equipment, musical instruments and DIY tools plus much more.

There are also helpful tips and guidance for borrowers who are using a ‘thing’ for the first time.Wouldn’t it be great if every community had access to a similar service, creating opportunities to easily try out new hobbies or DIY projects without the need to buy new equipment? If you’d like to explore this idea further, the team at the Library of Things also offers tours, talks and workshops.

-- Congratulations to the Best Before Project on launching its surplus food ‘shop’ in Elsey’s Yard, Bury St Edmunds. It’s fantastic to see this in Suffolk.