Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Digital content at the public library

One of the advantages I have to reading hard copy books was that I could go to the library, get a bunch of books and read them at leisure at home, for FREE! How could I possibly do this on an e-reader? Well I shouldn't have worried. Because my public library is up with the times, and has a ton of content online. Now I don't know if this is the case with all libraries (though now it does seem so), but my library has a certain amount of good content available for download for free.

My longer commute and 'active toddler' are leaving me with less time to curl up with a book, so I needed to find better ways to do it. On the public library's page, I found the link for e-books and audiobooks, both of which could be transferred to an iPod/hone/ad, a Nook or a Sony reader ( I don't know why not Kindle, but I hope they are working on it).

The process to actually get the books was time consuming- I had to download this app called 'Overdrive Media Console' which apparently many libraries use to loan out their content. Once that was installed on the iPhone, I could go to the library's website through the app, select the book I want, check it out (it's a little tedious, but not too bad) and then download it on the iPhone.

After that I can access it for the checkout period (7 days usually) and also transfer it on up to 6 devices. Which is a VERY good deal, considering that that means I can transfer it on my computer as well, and read it from there, to reduce battery consumption.

So far, I have downloaded one e-book and one audiobook (I had downloaded one the past, but by the time I could figure out the app, the book was overdue). Both are very good quality to read and listen to.

I was very, very impressed with my library and hopefully they keep adding more titles to their digital collection.

I am not sure though, how the checkout system works. Do the overdue files simply stop working, or is it an honor system. I guess I could find out next week.

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