I adopt slowly. Technology, that is, I’m never an early-adopter. Sometimes I’m dead-last. I just bought my first smartphone, an iPhone, two years ago. My kids, being normal teenagers, have owned phones since the day, probably eight years ago, when they wore me down by asking six hundred times “Dad! When can I get a phone?” And right after their phones came the music purchases.
If you’re thrifty (cheap) like me, the thought of buying music, one song at a time for $1.29, drives you nuts. I already own thousands of songs; I copied them from my CDs years ago as Windows Media Files. I can listen to them on my laptop, but on my phone they’re useless, incompatible. So, no music on my phone. When I want to listen to music, I ask Alexa, but that only works when I’m in my kitchen, not my basement or garage. And in my car, I’ve been stuck with radio commercials.
When the world shut down last March, I suddenly starting paying attention to the library’s electronic collection. I wondered how our patrons would interact with the library system if they couldn’t borrow physical books. As a person who pays the bills, I know all the names of the products we offer, I just don’t necessarily know what some of them do. This is embarrassing: For fourteen months, I thought Freegal offered free legal documents like wills and contracts. Nope, Freegal is a music subscription service. A service I’ve just begun using. And now I think: I wish I didn’t take so long to get started.
Like the free version of Spotify or Pandora, you can stream music at no cost. But unlike those commercial products, Freegal Music has no ads. And if you don’t like to stream music (data, bandwidth, etc), just download the songs you want. They’re yours, for free, forever. Each week, I’m permitted to download fives songs from countless artists, from millions and millions of songs—including many of the current, popular artists my kids listen to, my old favorites from childhood, and a hefty chunk of everything in between. 
Other Freegal offerings include music videos and audiobooks, neither of which I’ve tried out. In fact, offering audiobooks seems a little redundant to me as Adams County Library has almost two thousand titles available on our (also free) Cloud Library platform. This platform also links up with the collections of other regional libraries. If you want it, the chances are good you can get it.
Like other music streaming services, Freegal allows me to make playlists of songs I own and of songs I simply stream. These lists can be played straight through or randomly shuffled. I know this is pretty standard stuff, working like other music services on the market, but in this case, the library has paid the fee for you. No monthly charge, no commercials, ever. You just get to enjoy the music. 
To get started on Freegal Music or any other eLibrary offering, all you need is a library card. Then, visit the eLibrary tab on our website, adamslibrary.com, or stop by any of our circulation desks to get personal one-on-one help. Start listening to your favorite music today, for free!
Submitted by Jeff Cann, Finance Manager