A Valuable Treasure You May Not Be Aware of

A Valuable Treasure You May Not Be Aware of

Have you ever wished someone would slap you on the back of your head for not taking advantage of something you could use on a regular basis which

  • doesn’t cost a cent. It’s absolutely free,
  • you can access almost any time you want, and
  • will bring you enjoyment and help you learn about subjects you always wanted to study?

I found myself at that point several weeks ago. I have known about this free resource almost my entire life. However, I haven’t kept up with how it has changed and how much more valuable it is to me now than many other things I have.

What is It?

It’s the Public Library – the Knox County Public Library.

I have used Public Libraries periodically in the past. When I was growing up, it was to get books I wanted to read. In my adult life I have used them to do research for work connected with my job.

For some reason, libraries were not a high priority for me to visit. I had this image in my mind of these older buildings where people had to be quiet. They just weren’t that much fun.

I read extensively and have done so for many years. Almost 100% of the time I bought the books I wanted because I believed the local libraries wouldn’t have them. When they did, there would be a long waiting list of people who had reserved them.

Recently my view of libraries has changed. I suddenly realized they are a valuable resource I need to take advantage of.

The Email from AARP

It all started when I got an email from AARP. It contained an article about Kanopy. (www.kanopy.com.). At this site, people can get movies for free through their local library. They don’t have to go to the library to get the movie. All they have to do is enter their library card number and pin and they have access to the site.

The Kanopy site is much like the Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime sites. There are many movies available. One nice thing about Kanopy is they have a great selection of movies that are classics or have won Oscars.

The Knox County Public Library is a participating library. As a member, I have access to Kanopy. I can get 7 movies every month without any charge. I can watch these movies on my television, computer or smart phone.

After I checked out Kanopy, I decided to find out what else the Knox County Public Library offered that I was unaware of. I found out there are several other things I can access for different types of material right from home using my Library card. Here they are:

  • First there is Libby. Using Libby, a person can download eBooks and Audio books right to their Apple, Android, or Kindle devices. They can even download them to their PC.
  • Second is Lynda.com. On this site a person has access to various online courses to expand their knowledge on a variety of subjects.
  • Third, they can get a free account to the digital edition of the New York Times. This would enable them to get free access to the national and international news. For this they would need an Apple device, an Android tablet or a Kindle.
  • Fourth, they can read any of a large number of magazines through RBdigital. Here again they would need an Apple device, an Android tablet or a Kindle. On RBDigital there is also a limited selection of audiobooks.
  • Fifth, if a person has children or grandchildren, they can access free eBooks for them through Tumblebooks.

One Thing You Need to Be Aware of . . .

. . . the website for the Knox County Public Library is not very user friendly, especially for older people. That’s why I was unaware of these services I have mentioned.

To find out more about each of these services and how to use them, the library offers help. You can get it by calling 865-215-8700.

A Special Service for Homebound or Disabled People

As I looked closely at their website, I also learned the library has a special service for homebound or disabled people who cannot get to the nearest branch without assistance.

Once a month, a homebound or disabled person can call their local branch and let a librarian know what books or audiovisuals they would want that month. The librarian will check those out for them and a volunteer will deliver these to the person. At the same time the delivery person will pick up and take back those from the previous month. The homebound or disabled person can also elect to have a librarian select materials for them based on their reading preference.

I Have Begun to Use This Resource

Personally, I have already started viewing movies on Kanopy. I have downloaded my first eBook. I am an avid reader and will start to download eBooks regularly. Using Kanopy and downloading eBooks will save me quite a bit of money.

Several times a year I take long trips. Normally I drive. On future trips I plan to get audiobooks to listen to rather than the radio.

What About You?

As you have been reading this, have you started to see how you can take advantage of what the library offers and save yourself some money?

You may say you don’t know how to use a computer. Don’t let that hold you back. Free computer classes are available at the O’Connor Senior Center and the Library. Enroll in one of these. Very quickly, you will know all you need to.

You may not have an Apple, android or Kindle device. If price is an issue, there are many used ones available which are inexpensive. If you can’t afford one, ask your children or grandchildren to consider getting you one for your birthday or Christmas.

You probably get together with some friends periodically for lunch or dinner or to see a movie. Why not save yourself some money? Invite your friends over and watch a classic movie or an Oscar winner from Kanopy together.

If you are homebound or disabled, take advantage of the library delivering books or audiovisuals to you.


If you have any comments on what you have read in this post, please email them to me. Also – if you have any ideas about subjects you would like to see discussed in future posts, please send me an email and let me know. My email address is bob.ooablog@gmail.com