Webster Parish Library (WPL) hopes its patrons will enjoy a new service, "Freegal," which is noisier than a library book and does not have to be returned.
"We are very excited about a new service, called Freegal," said Beverly Hammett, WPL director "It is a download music service. We are hoping this will allow us to reach an audience we have not reached before.
"That is the teens and the 20s," Hammett continued. "If we can get them to the library website, perhaps they will see the other things going on for them at the library."
Library cardholders can download three free songs a week, for a total of 156 free songs in one year.
According to information provided by WPL, Freegal is a new service offered to all registered library patrons. The name, which rhymes with "legal," stands for "free and legal" music.
"We have had CDs available to check out for some time now," Hammett said. "We purchased the Freegal subscription because we thought people would like to keep the music. Plus, if it gets enough support, we may be able to phase out purchasing CDs. That would be a plus, because the subscription to Freegal costs less than what we currently spend on CDs."
Janetta Robinson, WPL technology assistant, said she can see additional benefits to adding Freegal to the library's services.
"Music piracy is an issue in today's world," she said. "We hope Freegal will help our patrons enjoy free music without breaking the law."
Robinson said library patrons can access the service through a web browser without the need to install additional software.
"There are apps available for iPhone and Android smartphone," she said. "The music downloads in MP3 format. It never expires and can be used on any device that will play MP3 files.
"We are pleased to be able to offer our patrons this alternative for free music," Robinson continued. "All they need is their library card number and PIN."
The company, Library Ideas, created the Freegal service. They offer more than three million songs comprised of music from over 10,000 labels in over 60 countries, including Sony Music's catalog of legendary artists.
"Sony Music has an incredibly expansive and popular catalog and we are really excited to partner with them on this, a very important product for libraries," said Brian Downing, co-founder of Library Ideas. "A library is a focal point of the community that requires many tools to excite people about library resources. More than anything, that is the reason for the service."