With so many great services at Sioux Center Public Library, I know that some can be overlooked. But I want to make everyone aware of one that I enjoy using every week – Freegal. Freegal is a free service that you can access through the Sioux Center Public Library website that allows you to legally download three mp3 music files each week. They are then yours to keep – to put on your digital music player or even burn onto a CD. All you have to do is start at the SCPL homepage and click on the Freegal link, on the left side halfway down. Once on the Freegal site, you log in with your SCPL card number and then you begin to browse the music catalogue. What kind of music? Lots and lots – there are millions of options available, as it includes the entire SONY music catalogue (SONY includes Columbia, RCA, Arista, Epic, and many more…) The Freegal site itself has numerous helpful lists, such as the US top 100 downloads, the top new albums, and… You can even see what songs have been most popular in Sioux Center (this week it was Pitbull, Etta James, and Carrie Underwood).

I have been a regular user since last August and have explored much of the catalogue, so I will occasionally offer some Freegal suggestions in this newsletter. This week, we will keep it simple – Paul Simon. Freegal has his entire catalogue available, just about every album and song the man has ever made can be downloaded. Last Saturday, I was enjoying an evening at a local establishment with my family and friends, when the singing duo on stage offered a fun rendition of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” from 1986’s Graceland album. I must say, it made me very proud to see my daughters singing right along, knowing Paul Simon well from hearing him regularly around our house. Rhymin’ Simon is great for the whole family; pop music at its very best – catchy and thoughtful. To narrow it down, search in Freegal at the top of the page for the album The Essential Paul Simon, click on it and then select “download songs.” If you need more specifics, I would suggest “Loves Me Like a Rock,” the aforementioned “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” and to hear that Paul Simon still is making great music, download “Outrageous,” from 2006’s album Surprise. Enjoy! AND come back next week for three more free downloads, as the count resets early Monday morning. (Remember, three free downloads a week, per card – that’s an entire album for a family of four!) Thanks Freegal and SCPL!

Written by Matt Drissell (Sioux Center Public Library Patron)