With the digital age as prominent as it is many libraries have seen fit to keep up with the times. One of the ways they are doing this is by offering digital collections that you can access right from your home. This is not exactly a new function, ebooks have been available from many libraries for years. But the systems they use are getting better, more user friendly, and more accessible.
Today I’m going to talk about a few things you may no know your library offers as digital services in the hopes that more people will use these awesome features.
This is my favorite service that I’ve found in many Ohio libraries in recent months. I’m not really sure how widespread they are, only that many libraries in my state now use them. As far as these libraries are concerned, anyone within the State of Ohio or who owns property in the state is authorized to sign up for digital library cards or eCards in many of our library systems. I myself have one from Dayton, one in the CLEVNET system where my childhood library system is located, and one in the Cuyahoga County system in addition to my physical card from my home library.
Why would I want so many cards? Each library or library system has its own unique collection on its digital platforms. Each one also tends to use a variety of different platforms. Overdrive, Hoopla, RB, and others are available and each library uses its own combination.
I use my cards mainly to access different collections on Overdrive.
Overdrive is one of my most used apps on my phone and tablet. Using both my eCards and physical ones I can access all the collections from libraries I am a member of. Even better, Overdrive offers mobile cards to libraries by signing up with you phone number through the app. I’m not sure if this works for every library but it has for all the ones I’ve used.
Overdrives offers ebooks, audiobooks, and other media direct from your phone. You don’t need to be inside your library to use it and books disappear from your shelf after their lending time expires so there’s no need to worry about overdue books and fines. The app does all the work.
There;s a newer version of the app called Libby, which I personally hate, but works with the same library collections and accounts as Overdrive.
Personally I don’t use this service even though my library offers it. Hoopla is similar to Overdrive but it streams instead of downloading. I don’t really care for the service’s collection as they just seem to offer very random materials and not much I’m interested in.
Digital Music, Videos, Movies, and Magazines-
Depending on your library, they may have made other materials available on devices with your card. Mine offers magazines for free instead of spending money on subscription fees and I don’t have to worry about whether to throw them out or keep them and find a place to store them when I’m finished.
Other libraries offer digital comic books, movies for streaming or temporary download, individual videos, and music. Some even offer digital newspapers! All of these are paid for by your library so there’s no fear of piracy and you get to enjoy them from your own home.
I can’t recommend looking into your own library’s digital services enough. If you don’t have a hometown library check to see if other libraries in your state offer eCards to state residents. For me the audiobook selections are plenty worth it alone.
Do you use digital services from your library? Which ones do you like? Share in the comments below.