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Published January 30th 2014
FREE digitial book and music through your local library
Image State Library of Victoria
These days when librarians go for jobs they might well be asked not about how many books they have read but about how many twitter followers they have.
This is because libraries are a changing world where technology rules.
As a reader it can be hard to keep up with the many digital changes at your library. But one you might want to get in on at the ground floor level is on borrowing downloadable eBooks through your library. (Most libraries get you to download the app OverDrive.)
The advantages are many and the biggest one is no more library fines. You download a book (usually for 7-21 days depending on your preference) and you don't have to return it. It simply disappears off your device. If you haven't finished it and no one is waiting for it, which is often the case, you can download it again. It only takes a few seconds so it is not an onerous task.
Image Text publishing
Secondly there are no more long waits for popular items. For example I wanted to read the book lots of people are talking about at the moment -- The Rosie Project. by Graeme Simsion. I would have had to wait for months to get a physical copy from the library but I could download it immediately from my local library. From download to laughter in matter of minutes. What a funny book.
There are a few tips and tricks to getting eBooks through your local library.
The first is to check with your library about what device you should use. Ipads are standard fare but surprisingly the well know Kindles are not compatible with Australian library eBooks. So don't rush out and buy a Kindle before checking.
Most computer savvy people will quickly learn how to download eBooks but for the rest of us it is worth noting that librarians are there to help. Most libraries also now run sessions on how to download eBooks. Book yourself into one.
Some libraries only have a limited (although in most cases a rapidly growing collection) of ebooks. I have a relative who has read all of the eBooks at her local library. If you are also an avid reader then I strongly recommend you join the City Library (anyone who lives in Victoria can do this) as they have the largest selection of eBooks. You can join online for this service no need to go in there. I guess this is a glimpse of the future where there will be virtual bookshelves and all borrowing will be done remotely.
Another digital app you might want to look into are Bolinda. These are audio books you can download through your local library. Great for when you are walking and want to spend that time in your head. You know how Stephen Fry lost all that weight don't you? He loves reading so much that when he discovered he could download audio books he took up walking. Engaged in his passion for knowledge and literature he forgot the miles and the weight just fell off him.
You can also do free music downloads through a lot of local libraries through Freegal. There are millions of songs to download. And yes it is even legal.
So the world is opening up. Great literature and music at your fingertips. And no library fines!
One last tip. There are also a lot of free eBooks online. Here are the best twenty sites to download at. Click here.