Travel During the Holidays

Many people travel over the holidays, and while the idea might be festive and cheery, the reality is often stressful and full of regret. This year, prep a little to save yourself some heartache.

A few good travel ideas to make your holiday enjoyable:

If You’re Driving:

Rent a car, or make sure your vehicle is safe enough to drive. Stock your trunk with some essentials like a blanket, flares, bottled water and a bit of food, jumper cables, an inflated spare tire, and a few basic tools.

Have lots of audio options at the ready. Stock your phone with lots of downloaded audiobooks from the library, or bring along some CDs. (We have lots of both. Use Libby for the downloads, or drop by the library for a great selection of audiobooks.) Find a great podcast, and some new music, and make sure you have cables to either connect your phone while in your car, or to charge it when you get to your destination. In fact, bring along TWO sets of phone chargers. You never know when you might leave one on a bedside table at a hotel, or lose one in all the shuffle.

Stock your glove compartment with extra change for tolls, food, or other items you might not be expecting. Bring wet wipes and kleenex (and a roll of toilet paper if you dare).

Don’t forget to bring along some used books from our sale table. You don’t have to worry if you leave them at your destination.

If You’re Flying:

Download ebooks and audiobooks from Libby to make your carry on super light. Not sure how to access our simple download service? Get your library card, PIN, and it’s easy to set up. Download your items before you leave so that you don’t have to eat up your data plan.

Want movies or music to listen to? Hoopla is also a fun option. You can have four items out at a time—movies, music, ebooks or audiobooks—and you don’t have to worry about late fines over the holidays. Not sure what Hoopla is all about? You can find everything you need to know right on our website!

Be a good guest:

If you’re staying with family or friends over the holiday, let them know when you expect to arrive—and when you plan on leaving. A few simple details makes it easier on everyone.

Make your bed every day, and keep your guest room neat and tidy.

Why not bring along a gift for your host? We have some great books for sale at the library as Christmas gifts.

Don’t forget:

We’re closed occasionally over the holidays, but if you forget to renew your items, you can still do it online. All you need is your library card and PIN. And if you forget to bring that, you can always call us and leave a message on our answering machine, day or night. When we’re back in the library, we’ll take care of the updates for you. (613) 257-2702

Hopefully, with a little bit of advance preparation, your holiday will be smooth and festive.!

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Audiobooks & Romance

If you love audiobooks, chances are you’ve thought about trying Audible, which now has a Canadian counterpart to help ease the pricing differences. But as with a lot of audio choices, romance has been a bit on the back burner.

Audible Romance allows readers to have access to over ten thousand romance audiobooks, either through their subscriptions with a simple add on price of $6.95 a month, or as a stand-alone service for $14.95 US/month. This is a great deal if you love audiobooks, and especially, romance.

While services such as HOOPLA and LIBBY are provided through libraries, Audible is a different type of structure, allowing users one book per month with their subscription, and deals on purchasing other titles. The best part is that users get to keep their books, and they’re all optimized to use in the Audible app.

Even better? The new Audible Romance category offers a “Take Me to the Good Part” feature, which allows listeners to fast forward to some of the most memorable parts of the book without having to wade through “boring” story. Interesting.

Do you love audiobooks? How do you listen?

New Device? Use OverDrive!

warm-up-with-an-audiobookDid you know that your new phone or tablet can be used for reading? Of course! Download the OverDrive app, and you’re on your way to reading audiobooks and ebooks without leaving the house. All you need is your library card and PIN.

Pop over to our library website and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on the OverDrive link and follow the instructions for downloading and app and signing in. It’s easy, and you’ll be downloading eBooks and audiobooks in minutes.

If you have trouble, drop by the library to get your PIN, register with our tech-spert Caroline for some one-on-one training, or ask one of the staff to get your started. There are thousands of eBooks and audiobooks on OverDrive for the whole family. And it’s FREE with your library card. Isn’t that the best present of all?

Technology at the Library

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Electronic resources are popular at the library, both eBooks and Audiobooks. And while we like to make our patrons feel secure in being able to download either one to any kind of device (computer, phone, tablet etc.), it’s not always as straight forward as it should be. But trust me, originally, it was way, way more difficult.

When eBooks and Audiobooks first arrived through the Over Drive website, you needed to download a small program, register for an Adobe ID, have all of your computer equipment up to date, and then make sure you accepted all of the conditions when downloading your books. Of course, it also requires a library card number and PIN, both of which you can get from the library.  Sounds simple, right?

Next, once you had everything installed on your computer, it was simple enough to do a search and select a book. If you weren’t on high speed internet, it wasn’t impossible, but took a little more time to download, especially those audiobooks. But you could do that here at the library…providing you didn’t mind wiping everything off of your iPod when you began the download (yes, public access computers made things a bit tricky). Then, if everything went well, your book was downloaded into your program, where you could then plug in your iPod or eReader and transfer it over.  That could take a bit of doing, as well. Some of the devices required certain functions to happen in a particular order (ie…plug in the USB cord first to your device, then to your computer etc.).  And teaching people to drag and drop a book into Adobe Digital Editions (as well as helping them to navigate the software if it opened in a different configuration was always fun), the whole thing sort of lost its shine.

With the invention of tablets and apps in general, things have changed quite a bit. Now, with most newer devices, you can download a small program and the eBook or audiobook simply downloads straight into the app. No separate programs for each type of electronic resource, and not much in the way of registration (except for the Adobe ID, which they’ve now eliminated for new users!).  Yes, there are still people who are using their computers to listen to or read books, but many of us like the portability of smaller devices.

What remains a bit frustrating—-and something that’s difficult to explain to new users, especially when we tell them “it’s easy!”—–is that not everything goes smoothly. We could install the same apps on the same type of devices for five people in a row….and run into different problems with each one. Keep in mind, we all install different updates, run different programs that might interfere in some way, and purchase our devices at different times. What might be standard on the first issue of a tablet might be upgraded slightly in a few months, even though it is technically the same device. So, keep all of that in mind when downloading your electronic resources. It’s not always perfectly simple, but hopefully, we can get you there without many issues.

Similarly, any updates to the app or to your device might also render some new steps or a new look when using OverDrive. Have patience….if you experiment a bit, sometimes you’ll learn more about how to do things than coming in for help. But, we’re always here to give you some assistance, so please drop by anytime.  If it looks like it might be a difficult issue, you can always call and make an appointment with us so we can spend a bit more time.

If you haven’t been using electronic resources, why not start now?  Drop by the OverDrive website to get started!

Do You OverDrive?

Audiobooks and eBooks are a big part of our library collection, even though many of the titles are strictly digital and never actually come into the library building itself. But we have many readers (and listeners), who regularly use the OverDrive website or app to access these books and enjoy “reading” in a whole new way.  We love hearing the stories, from people who download audiobooks to listen to on their drive to and from work (library staff included), to people who choose eBooks when they’re going on vacation and don’t want to carry a stack of heavy books in their suitcases. They’re a wonderful way to get in some extra reading when you might not feel you have the time to spend on books.

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If you’ve been downloading eBooks or audiobooks to your computer for a while, you might not realize there is now a handy APP that you can use on your portable devices, such as tablets or phones.  The OverDrive Media Console App is available for both Apple products (iPhones, iPads etc., available from the Apple store), as well as for Android based products (from the Google Play store). The app is free and only takes a moment to download. Then, all you’ll need is your library card number, and a PIN that we’ve given to you and you’re all set! Gone are the days when you needed an Adobe ID, so new users, rejoice in the fact that you can now skip a much dreaded step!

While some people don’t enjoy reading on their phones because of the small display, audiobooks are really simple to access on a phone, and you can plug in your earbuds, or just listen using your phone’s speaker. They don’t take long to download, and if you use free Wi-fi access points, you won’t have to worry about paying for data charges. Give it a try!  Just pop into your library to get a card and a PIN, and start downloading books today!

http://downloadcentre.library.on.ca

 

Kindle Fire + Canadian Libraries = ♥

The Kindle Fire has just been released in Canada!  While many will not even care about this interesting news, the showy tablet has some bonuses for Canadian users….they can now use the library OverDrive app on a Kindle!!

fireThe Kindle Fire seems to be the only Android-based Kindle product, and therefore, allows library users access to books through the OverDrive app.  Apparently, you’ll need some account information (like Amazon info), an Adobe ID , and of course your library card number and PIN to download books. After that, you’re good to go.

So far, all of the other Kindles are not compatible with the Canadian Library version of OverDrive, but that may come at some point. For now, Canadian librarians are rejoicing (or cringing) as we add one more device to our line up of eBook/audiobook readers.

Do You OverDrive?

While the majority of our patrons still come in to get books, many people are also taking advantage of the free eBooks and Audiobooks available at the OverDrive website. And with the upcoming holiday season upon us, we expect that usage to grow. So what are people reading on? It seems that eReaders are still very popular, but now people are expanding into the tablet format, so we’re excited to see where that goes.

There are always questions about what is available on the OverDrive website. While it’s not exactly like purchasing an eBook or audiobook online, where you get whatever book you want within seconds, there are many advantages to it.  Think of it as an extension of the library you visit in person–you can still get most of the books you want, but you might have to wait a few weeks if someone already has your book out.  Here are a few updated facts:

Right now, there are over 35, 000 titles available on OverDrive.  That includes eBooks, audiobooks, as well as music and video (which our library does not offer at this time, I’m afraid.) There are 26, 225 eBooks alone. While some bigger libraries offer extra copies to their patrons, Carleton Place has only single copies of each eBook available to borrow. Think of it like us purchasing books for our building–we wouldn’t buy 13 copies of a popular book because we simply wouldn’t have room on our shelves for everything.  And each copy that we own pays out royalties to the author and publisher etc.  If we purchased multiple copies of eBooks, we’d still have to pay for each copy so the authors etc., would earn their money.  While it seems like it should be something we could have an endless supply of (after all, it’s digital, it’s just a file…why couldn’t we have multiples on backup), we find that the waiting lists move fast and people can generally wait to read/listen to a book.

The people are OverDrive tell us that at any one time, 35 – 40% of the collection is out. That’s amazing when you think of it! And now, you can have up to 10 items on your holds/checkout list.  This is double what they used to offer, so it helps keep you in the loop.  Less time coming back to place holds and more time reading!  We love it! If you’re getting frustrated trying to find an available title to take out, don’t forget to try the “Advanced Search”.  You can choose your preferred genre, author and type of eBook, then select “show only titles available” and it will show you a list of items you can take out right now!  Fantastic, right?  If you’re having trouble with that, please drop by the library and we can show you how it’s done on one of our computers.

While many people are getting tablets, this requires some knowledge of your device (how to access WiFi etc), and a few easy steps to download the OverDrive app. Then,it’s as simple as getting an Adobe ID and the books drop right into your app. If you’re still using your computer to access eBooks, you might notice that Adobe Digital Editions has changed its layout as well.  They’ve made it easier for people who are sight impaired to use their screen readers (devices that read the books to them). So, while the look might have changed with Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 version, it still acts the same when reading your eBooks on your computer or transferring them to your device. Again, if you need any help, drop into the library and we can assist you.

It’s an exciting time for library users, and your new devices (for the most part) will work great on OverDrive. Don’t forget, you still need a library card and a PIN.  Drop in and we can get you started!