How many Manchester residents know that our public library is open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Yes, this is so through the magic of Internet connection. You can access the Mark Skinner Library’s card catalog online, to search for books and availability, anytime.

But even better, through the Green Mountain Library Consortium, any resident of Manchester who has a library card (these are obtained gratis at the library), can check out e-books, or audio books any time of day.

This is a great service for many of us who can’t always make it to the library during their physical working hours. The list of digital books available is immense -- bestsellers, new fiction, mysteries, classics, biographies, current events and politics, business and careers, kids books, teen books -- available in e-book or audiobook format.

The library staff is great at leading one through the process of accessing the e-Library. It is simple, and once one has done it, borrowing electronic books can become very addictive. Imagine being out of town, on business or pleasure, and still being able to check out a new book at the library.

You can do this anywhere you can access the Internet! And all this is free to Manchester residents.

When you hear the discussion of funding the Library, remember the services that we are getting with our tax dollars. The amount the library is requesting will cost you less per year than a subscription to Audible.com would cost you per month, and you can listen to unlimited numbers of books; or it is less than the price of two e-books at Amazon.

Think how many books you can read or listen to over a year, and you see what a great bargain our library is.

I urge all Manchester residents to turn out and support your library at Town Meeting on March 1. How can we afford not to?

CONSIE WEST

Manchester