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Health and Wellness Center
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One by one on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, some 60 people of varying size, shape, and age will step atop a scale at the L.H. Bluford Branch to measure the returns from 12 weeks of sweat and self-discipline.

Freegal Music
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Stream the music you want. When you want it. No ads. No charge.

Who wouldn’t like the concept?

It didn’t take patrons of the Kansas City Public Library long to discover — and take advantage of — the upgraded offerings of Freegal Music. Its catalog of some 7 million songs was made available via online streaming in February 2014. By the end of that month, nearly 13,000 tracks had been accessed by Library card-holders.

The streaming is unlimited, available 24-7, and more flexible than other services that allow users to specify genres of music but not particular songs. With Freegal, patrons can create personal playlists. Or they can listen to an entire album of their choosing.

“To use an appropriate term, it’s a hit,” says Joel Jones, the Library’s deputy director of branch and library services. “Freegal’s downloads have always been popular – they’re yours to keep – but there are limits.

“There’s no ceiling on streaming. You can listen to as much as you want for as long as you want. I use it on my (smart) phone at the YMCA. Before I climb on the treadmill, I just go to the ’80s classic rock selections or whatever else I’m in the mood for and pick a playlist. It’s so easy.”

The Library has offered Freegal’s downloaded music since late 2012, recently raising its limit on downloads from three to five songs a week.

Bernie Norcott-Mahany (at right) at the Jackson County Spelling Bee
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Saturday may not be quite what Bernie Norcott-Mahany imagined when he said yes three years ago to serving as the pronouncer for the Jackson County Spelling Bee.

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