Faucet the Library – Redeemed Reader

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I was expecting it, and it is certain to have happened: My local library and all of its branches are closed until March 31 – and very likely beyond. Here I sit with about 18 books that I have checked out, some of which I enthusiastically recommend. But how will our readers be able to read them?

Overdrive to rescue – somehow. I have heard of it and noticed that my library offers certain books in electronic editions, but never bothered to download them. I don't like reading on a screen and I don't think it's ideal for children. But if I can get a book that I really want to read, I'll bite the bullet.

But first I have questions. That's why I asked our two resident cyber experts (Hayley and Betsy) to help me: our questions and answers could also help our readers (and if anyone has wisdom to add, please comment!).

Janie: Overdrive is the only credit service I've heard of. Have you had any experiences with others?

Hayley: I also have experience with RB Digital. It is mainly audio books (although I remember a few magazines, classic e-books and other things). I think it has to do with the recorded books, so the range was excellent with some great narrators.

Betsy: One of my local library systems also uses Hoopla. I checked out magazines through RB Digital, but I still need to use Hoopla. I use Overdrive all the time for audiobooks and often check e-books about Overdrive before traveling.

J.: Can you borrow books only from libraries where you have a library card, or can you borrow from other libraries?

H.: I think there is a way to pay for a card in a neighboring library system and then use its resources. Betsy, I think you're doing this?

B.: Our area is a bit funny because one of the "Tri-Cities" does not play well with others and has its own library system. I'm on the other side of the line right now, so I'm using this smaller system for older titles (their budget isn't as big, as you can imagine), but I'm paying to be part of the larger system. The branch closest to me is in the larger system. Because of the larger budget, I get most of the newer titles there. The two library systems use different electronic services. The smaller Hoopla and the greater overdrive. Overdrive has just switched to a new app called Libby. I haven't switched yet, but I understand that as long as you are a cardholder, you can use as many library systems as you own a card.

J.: In theory, you could buy a card in the New York City public library, or in Houston or LA, or in a location with a large library. (However, I noticed that electronic editions are borrowed like physical books: one user per copy.)

Is Overdrive available on most tablets and phones?

H.: Yes! It's actually confusing because it's on two platforms: Overdrive and Libby. Libby is more user-friendly and easier, but I learned with Overdrive, so I stuck to it.

B.: Equal! (stays with Overdrive) I regularly check the Kindle version of a book from the library and have it sent to my Kindle (especially if I charge my Kindle for the holidays!). We're limited to 15 (or maybe 20?) E-books at once, so my husband and I read jockey for our vacation ;-). But I use Overdrive on my phone for audiobooks and we also used our tablets when needed.

J.: How do I start?

H.. First you need to set up an account. I think I had to register for RB Digital on my library website first. Overdrive was a long time ago, but I think you can use your library card to set up an account directly from the app.

B.: Yes – you need to know your library card number. since most require you to search your library (and most library websites have an electronic resources page / link on their home page).

J.: I patronize a large library, but their e-book selection seems rather small. What is the probability that I will find a certain title (not in my library itself, but in a typical medium-sized library)?

H. It is definitely more uncertain that your brick and stone library has exactly what you are looking for. As a rule, they have a good collection of classics and popular bestsellers. The middle ground is more library dependent, but you can find some treasures.

B.: I was lucky to just search a category and look for interesting things instead of looking for specific books. However, you CAN defer e-resources so that this is possible. I've had a few issues with it (missing notifications and the like), so I regularly check for titles I'm interested in and pounce when they are available.

J.: Sounds like good advice. By the way, Betsy, my library uses Hoopla, so I looked in the middle class to see what they had in the recent additions category. It seemed pretty small – 36 titles in total. But I recognized some of them. In fact, we checked almost a third of it! (Are we up to date or what?)

Most libraries lend books for 3 weeks. How long can you borrow a book on Overdrive?

H.: I think I had the 3 week option for my old Louisville Overdrive account. With my Wisconsin account, however, I have the option to choose 2 weeks or just 1 week. However, I can renew my book and keep it longer as long as no one else wants it.

B.: We have three weeks of overdrive through our system. Interestingly, I found that it remembers my place in an audiobook, although you can't extend it even if someone else checked it out and I had to wait a few weeks before getting it back. I just did that with To Kill a Mockingbird. It cost me a total of 3 separate cash registers!

J.: What other material is there besides books?

H.: Depending on the library, Overdrive can contain an excellent collection of audiobooks. Through Overdrive, I was first introduced to P.G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle, led by Martin Jarvis & # 39; s excellent narrative. I think there are occasional options for comics / graphic novels and even films, but I haven't looked at them.

B.: Oooh, movies, what? That would be fun. As you have seen, I use it a lot for audio books. In fact, I've included the overdrive links in my audiobook list for Christmas! (in addition to audible.com links). Overdrive has some great narrators, and I haven't had any audio quality issues except for a recent listening, and it was short-lived.

J.: Well, thanks for all of this!

More at Redeemed Reader:

  • Speaking of classics, Hayley has a great one List of classics for all ages that may be unknown to you. Check if they are available in your library through Overdrive, Libby or Hoopla.
  • And how about some Favorite audiobooks?
  • If you or your teenagers were planning to read Little Women (especially after watching the latest movie), you can download a free Kindle version at Gutenberg project (other versions available – and many other titles).
  • Forced family time goes better with games! Remember Betsy's list of Best games for book lovers?

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