Anyone who got a new phone, iPad, eReader or tablet for the holidays, raise your hand. Now, put your hand down; I can’t see you through the screen.
If you have such a device, you’re probably searching for neat apps with which to fill it! Did you know that you can stream movies, TV shows and music and check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, eGraphic novels, and even digital magazines without even stepping foot in the library? You have access to literally hundreds of thousands of different digital materials, and all you need is a library card.
One of my favorite digital services is called Overdrive. I think it’s the easiest to use and is especially good if you haven’t checked out digital content before. There are other apps to use for movies, music, shows and magazines, but Overdrive is the best place to start for eBooks and eAudiobooks. The app is a free download through your app store of choice. The logo looks like this—>
Once you download the app, it will ask you basic info like what library you use, your library card number, your PIN and an email address so it can email you to let you know when holds are available. Once you enter that, it will take you to our Overdrive catalog. You can search by title, author or keyword. You can also do an advanced search to look for a particular genre, age level or format (eBook or eAudiobook), search for books that were recently added to the collection, have won awards or even limit your search to only materials that are available now. Or if you want to read something but don’t really know what, you can always just browse.
Once you select a title, you can visit your loans page to see everything you currently have checked out or your holds shelf to see what you have on hold. The books will stay on your loans shelf for 2 weeks. (You can change this to a 3-week checkout by visiting the Overdrive settings.) When they’re due, they’ll just disappear off your device – no late fees!
If an eBook is checked out to another patron, you can place a hold on it, just like a regular book. You will get an email from Pinnacle Library Cooperative when your book is ready to be downloaded.
Downloaded? Yes, if you want. You can choose to download the material to your device so that you can access it while you’re offline or you can choose to read it online through the Overdrive website. I like to download the file so that I can read my books on the train or wherever I’m going and not have to worry about wifi.
The app is pretty self-explanatory, but here are a couple of tips:
- If you are using a Kindle device, make sure you download your books as Kindle books. If you DO NOT have a Kindle app on your Android or iOS device, make sure to download as an .epub file.
- If you’re listening to an eAudiobook, you can tap the little timer-looking circle just above the chapter name to change the speed (slower or faster) of the audiobook.
- When the app opens, it will take you to your Bookshelf where all of your downloaded materials are. If you want to see your account or the catalog, tap the rectangle that says “Add a title.” This will take you to the Pinnacle home page. If you tap the books icon, you can view your loans, holds and other account information.
If you have any questions about Overdrive or any of Fountaindale’s digital services, you are always welcome to call, email or stop in to ask!