Library Launches Free Downloadable Music Service - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Library Launches Free Downloadable Music Service

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NORTH LITTLE ROCK -- The William F. Laman Public Library System of North Little Rock announced Monday that it now offers a free downloadable music service called Freegal, becoming the first library system in Arkansas to provide such a service.

Under the terms of the agreement, registered cardholders of the William F. Laman Public Library System can download three Sony Music tracks in the MP3 format each week at no direct cost through the library's award-winning new Web site: www.lamanlibrary.org. The library will underwrite the purchase of the music.

The service will allow the William F. Laman Public Library System to increase the size and diversity of its collection by offering access to hundreds of thousands of songs.

"We strive to provide our patrons with access to culture in all its forms," said Jeff Baskin, executive director of the William F. Laman Public Library System. "Music is as important to culture as literature, film, fine art and the performing arts. So it makes sense to offer this service since it fits our mission of providing (equipping?) the community with culturally significant information resources."

Unlike some library database services, Freegal can be used remotely and therefore does not require patrons to be inside the building to download songs. Freegal also does not require any software installation.

Freegal, started by Library Ideas LLC of Vienna, Va., offers a library of hundreds of thousands of songs, which is updated two to three times per week. Library cardholders can browse recently added titles, featured artists and genres as well as search for specific titles or artists.

Brian Downing, co-founder Library Ideas, confirmed that the William F. Laman Public Library System is the first library in Arkansas to offer the downloadable music service.