Online services of every kind are natural in a fully digitized world. From schools to offices, everyone has adopted online portals to connect with their workplaces and study places. Moreover, in times of a pandemic like this one, online services and facilities have become more important.
Online libraries are extremely useful online services around the world. For people with little free time at hand, these libraries can prove to be of great value. Online libraries are hosted by research institutes, universities, schools, governments, and public libraries. While some of these are exclusively for members who are associated with the host institute, others are open to all.
The existence of online libraries doesn’t undermine the popularity of physical libraries. However, there are some pretty undeniable reasons for the growing popularity of online libraries. Here’s why people prefer online libraries:
They’re Accessible Anywhere
You can take your online library with you wherever you go! At online libraries, all you need to do is sign up for an online account. After paying your subscription fee, you can access the unlimited number of books from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re traveling or studying abroad, you won’t lose access to your account. If you’re unable to find a physical library anywhere near you, you still have online libraries to rely on.
They are Portable
With online libraries, you usually don’t ask for printed versions of books. Instead, you get your e-book issued directly to your account. You can access them on laptops, e-readers, cellphones, tablets, etc. You can carry even your heaviest textbooks and journals on your phone without struggling with the weight of printed versions. The portability of online libraries is a huge benefit for mobile users and those who live without access to good public libraries.
They Have Essays and Reviews
Remember “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner? The main character Emily Grierson raised a lot of eyebrows and turned many heads, too. While a physical library can only provide you with the book, online counterparts have these credible reviews as well. For example, if you log on to your online library and search essays on “A Rose for Emily”, you’ll most likely come across an honest essay from a previous reader.
These features are also pretty helpful when you’re finding essay examples as well as samples for writing your own essay. Going through these examples of online libraries helps you in gaining a clearer opinion on the book you’re about to read.
You Won’t Lose Your Books
The struggle with maintaining a library book is as old as the libraries themselves. If you’ve ever been a library cardholder, you have most probably lost your card or your book at least once in your life. In online libraries, you are free of this worry. You don’t get a hard copy in the first place. There’s no concept of a card either, so you cannot lose that as well. In all, online libraries are much safer and secure than physical ones because of their book maintenance and ease of use.
Aside from online reading, online libraries encourage book club activities, too. You don’t need to travel anywhere if you want to participate with other book readers or discuss your current read. Book clubs have live sessions and competitions on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis that are open to all members. These are a great way of online socialization and help you spend your time in a productive manner.
No Time Constraints
Most libraries shut down at 8 PM sharp and the librarians aren’t kind enough to let you stay in late. However, an online library is accessible 24/7. You don’t need to find a secluded corner or be eyed by the librarian for making the tiniest noises.
You can relax in your bed, open up the app or website, and resume reading whenever you want to. Online libraries don’t close down and do not limit your access to the books you’ve borrowed. You can stay up as long as you wish to and read as much as you want to.
They Are Affordable
Given the fact that you don’t need to commute to an online library, the cost of being an online library member is considerably low. Online libraries are also open around the clock, so they offer more access to your books than a physical library. Online library subscriptions are also comparable and sometimes cheaper than physical ones.
They have feasible discount codes and many other benefits that make up a valuable subscription package. Overall, online libraries tend to be more affordable due to their remote accessibility and ease of use.
They Can Arrange Hard to Find Books
Online libraries have a massive collection of the rarest books as well. If there’s a limited-edition autobiography you’ve been hunting, an online library will most probably solve your dilemma. If there’s a journal or a textbook you want to cite, you can contact your digital library for that, too.
Online libraries don’t keep you deprived of anything you want to read. Whether it’s a novel, a newsletter, or an encyclopedia, you can consult the librarian to make an arrangement for you. If there’s no authentic e-book available, online libraries are also capable of arranging hard copies if you ask them to.
To put it all in a few words, it’s fair to say that online libraries can be lifesaving for worldwide members. There’s a limitless supply of informative books from the most authentic sources and authors. Online libraries are also more accessible and safer for the general user. While they won’t really replace physical libraries, online libraries will steadily become more popular in upcoming years.