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?

Audiobooks and more

Spring into eBooks 2_404x404Audiobooks and eBooks are always on our minds at the library. You can access the free digital collection from our OverDrive partnership simply by having a library card and PIN number. If you have a tablet, phone, eReader, or computer, there are plenty of ways to download a book and either listen, or read. It’s easy, and you’ll get addicted to it, we promise!

If you use a device that has apps, download the OverDrive app from Google Play, or the App Store, install it and sign up, and all you’ll need now is your library card and PIN.  All of the great books you take out will download right into your app, where you can read offline, or use a browser to access your checkouts. Yes, you can do this from anywhere in the world, at any time–day or night.

Audiobooks are great for people who work out, for those with long commutes, and for people who have a busy lifestyle. Listen on the go and never miss out on that great new book everyone is talking about. Place a hold if it isn’t available right away, and the folks at OverDrive will email you when it becomes available for you. Easy, right?

If you prefer to read instead of listen, eBooks are a favourite of many of our patrons. You can have dozens of books on your device at once, travel and not have to worry about overdue books, and enjoy bonus features to reading, such as virtual bookmarks, syncing to more than one device in the middle of reading, a dictionary, and much more. And it only takes a few seconds to download an eBook. Have you tried it yet?

If you have an older eReader, don’t worry, most of the devices are still supported. You might need to use your computer to facilitate the download, but you can still read with ease on your eReader and not have to worry about lugging around heavy books. Some of the eReaders even come with special features that allow you to read at night, or take away the harmful effects of reading an electronic device before trying to sleep.

If you want to know more about eBooks and Audiobooks on OverDrive, drop by the library for a quick demo, or take home some information to get started. You’ll be reading up a storm before you know it! (Sorry about the storm reference….we’re tired of them, too!)

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.

ebooks

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

 

OverDrive Problems

20130923100608606If you’re one of the many people that use OverDrive to download books, and you use an Apple product, such as the iPad, you might have noticed a BIG problem this weekend. After Apple released the iOS7 upgrade late last week, the OverDrive app was suddenly unable to open a DRM-protected ebook.

If you downloaded an eBook on the weekend and have upgraded your Apple device to the iOS7, the OverDrive people are working on the problem, but have suggested a few things to help.

#1.  Try re-authenticating the app with your Adobe ID.

#2.  If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may have to uninstall and then reinstall the OverDrive app.  At that point, authenticate the app with your previous Adobe ID and this should get you up and running again.

Audiobook users shouldn’t notice a problem, unless not all of the chapters were downloaded prior to the Apple update.  If that’s the case, you’ll receive an error message when you try to download the last chapters. Just try downloading the entire audiobook again, and this should solve your issues.

Hopefully, things will be up and running again smoothly soon.  This won’t affect any new users to OverDrive who now have the new iOS7 upgrade.

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.

Read the Book, Listen to the Audio

We have a lot of people who use the library exclusively for audiobooks. They’re a great way to get some “reading” in if you travel, or if you have sight problems.  They’re also fun to use when working out, and make the time pass quickly. And we’re adding more to our collection at the earlibrary everyday (or you can use OverDrive and download free audiobooks!)

If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, you’re in for a treat.  While most don’t contain sound effects or music, many are read by actors who really make the stories come to life. And often, if you find it difficult to get into an actual book, an audiobook can change all that.

But here’s something you may not have thought of: listening to an audiobook either before or after reading the book. If you have reluctant readers at home, using audiobooks with children can make a huge difference. Children love to revisit their favourite stories, so popping in an audiobook version of Charlotte’s Web, let’s say, can be great incentive for the child that just doesn’t feel like he can make the transition to larger chapter books. If they can listen and follow along in the book, even better. It’s just another way to use audiobooks to promote reading.

Drop in to see the great audiobooks we have for all ages!

Blink a book?

Google Glass

Google Glass (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

Ereaders and eBooks are a commonplace thing now. Just about everyone has a smartphone, tablet or computer and can access eBooks in some format or other. We see a steady stream of eBooks being taken “out” of our library through OverDrive, and those are just our patrons who use the free eBooks. There are probably plenty more patrons who purchase eBooks as well. It’s a great way to read books, whether you use it for travel or just an easy way to pick up that 400-pager before bed.

Recently, I read an article wondering about the coming of hands-free books and how it would impact our society. Author and social media manager at CNET, Nathan Bransford, had an idea about the new Google Glass device and the possibilities of hands-free books.  Haven’t heard of  Google Glass? You can read more here, but essentially, they are an experimental device–a wearable computer–that will act as a recording device, a camera, an information center and entertainment piece….all under the guise of a simple pair of glasses.  The Google Glass is still in the development stages, but Google has started a project where it is loaning out the glasses to people who presented them with creative ideas about how they would use them.  So, we’ll have to see if this moves to a stage where everyone can purchase a pair and start using them!

Now, the concept of reading on the Google Glass is something Mr. Bransford was concerned about, but for different reasons.  The viewing area is apparently quite small, and wouldn’t work well for doing a lot of reading.  He was most excited about the thought of being able to read (hands-free) while walking or traveling on the train. It really is an interesting concept, one where you might control flipping the pages with a blink of an eye or some other simple gesture. 

But as some of his readers pointed out, there are implicit dangers here. Of course, we’re thinking of using this as a reading device in the best possible ways, but what about people who will try to read while driving? (You know someone will do this!) Even the idea of reading while walking could have HUGE problems, with people not being aware enough of their surroundings already when they walk with iPods or other listening devices etc. There are just so many applications where using the glasses would be dangerous.

The Google Glass is very well designed, so much so that it isn’t all that noticeable when a person has them  on.  They could easily be mistaken for a regular pair of glasses. The possibilities here for reading are probably very real, and it’s only a matter of time before someone develops an idea to make books available for people who will own them. But along with using common sense, there should probably be some safeguards so that they won’t be misused. What do you think?  Would reading a book hands-free using a device like Google Glass be something you’d want to try?