Blogger Confession: Library + Online Content = Greatness

Posted February 3, 2014 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 55 Comments


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Library + Online Content = Greatness

Blogger Confession: I am in LOVE with Overdrive, OneClickDigital, and 3M Cloud Library

What are these wonderful services that I am in love with? They are ways to get audiobooks and ebooks from your library(s) on your devices! For a girl on a book budget, they are the lifeline that keep me happy and give me a place to shop for books without shopping!

However they are not the only online services that I am in love with! Here are just a few things that you might not know about your library and what they offer online:

  1. Did you know that you can belong to more than one library? That is right! I have 3 library cards (Plano, Frisco, and The Colony). My city has agreements with other cities so that I can get a library card (for free) in each of them if I choose too. I technically have a few other choices but between these 3 I have a pretty good choice of online books. Plus many large libraries will allow you to purchase a yearly membership (if you don’t live there) for rights to use their online services. While this may seem strange, there are many people who live in small towns that may not have access to a larger library budget. You can often (within your state and sometimes outside of it) get a library card to a major city’s library with a fee. In most cases, you can check out what online services they have before hand so you know whether this fee is worth it.Β  Example: Here is the link to the Frisco Public Library Overdrive Catalog. I was able to see what books/audiobook they had before applying for a card.
  2. Did you know that not all libraries carry the same online catalog? It is true! That is why it comes in handy having access to more than one library. Check with your city (just ask your librarian) to see what other libraries they have deals with!
  3. Did you know that it is eBooks and Audiobooks? That is right! Most will have extensive catalogs of both eBooks and Audiobooks! Which is just a score all around! Some of the Audiobooks can even be burnt to disk if you want to take them in your car!
  4. Did you know that by getting books from the libraries you are still supporting authors in a free and legal way? It is true! Added bonus you are supporting the library. Every time you check out a book from the library you support both the author and the library! It is a great way to legally read your favorite authors free and support them in the process. Basically the library will buy the books which is how the author is supported and by checking books out you help circulation numbers which help the Library!Β  Win/Win!
  5. Did you know that your Library will often have a lot of the newest books? I held off using my library card for the longest time because I thought it was just old stuff or that I would have to go into the library to get the newest stuff. Boy was I wrong! While it is not all of the new stuff (and sometimes not all of a series) there is plenty to choose from. Yes, there may be a waiting period but so worth it when you are getting out of paying for a hardcover. Also I have seen independently published books showing up on the digital services. It is just flat out awesome.
  6. Did you know that it is a great way to get a book (immediately) when you are in the mood? Checking out a book from digital services is easy, fast, and super convenient. Added bonus of getting to do it in your pajamas if you choose! I was in the mood for a thriller recently and instead of going to an online bookstore I headed to my online library. I was able to “shop” what was currently available for check out and get it on the spot. TOTAL WIN! Plus, it didn’t cost me a cent.
  7. Did you know that, in many cases, the online content is not just limited to eBooks and Audiobooks? That is right! There are many online classes that you can take through your library too. Everything from writing classes to taking photographs! These are instructor lead continuing education classes that might also help you at work. Great resource for those that like to keep on their toes or learn something new for Fun!
  8. Did you know that the library is a great resource for research? That is right! Many libraries are taking their research materials and making them available online. Whether you are doing a genealogy search, writing a paper, or need legal research done–you can get most of the materials online through your library. It is a great place to start when you are looking for something for work or personal use. (NOTE: A lot of libraries also have access to state/national resources online through their page!)
  9. Did you know that your librarian is probably the coolest person you could know? Seriously! If you haven’t talked to a librarian recently you are missing out. They are in the know folks! They can tell you about all these services plus give you book recommendations. They can tell you about the cool things going on at the library and how to stay in the loop. Plus, as book readers we all know they have the coolest job ever! We secretly (or not so secretly) want to be them!
  10. Did you know that having a library card makes you super cool in my book? It is TRUE! If you have a library card, I totally think you are a really cool person. You don’t have to have one to be cool but it does add to your street cred in my book!

There are many reasons to have a library card but their online content is my top one! Have you checked out your library lately? Do you know what services they offer? Have you talked to your librarian to see what you are missing out on? Trust me, this is something that I wish I would have done sooner! Talk to your library and see what they have to offer you!


Felicia S
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55 responses to “Blogger Confession: Library + Online Content = Greatness

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  2. Holly Letson

    Sadly, not all libraries have Overdrive and such. I moved to Alabama from the Corinth, MS area less than 3 years ago. When I lived in Corinth, The NorthEast Regional Library (which is in Corinth) did not have eBooks. I used to ask about it alot. Probably to the point that it irritated the librarians. But, they did not have it.
    When my cousin got a Kindle a year and a half or so back, I had her go ask about eBooks through the library, and the NERL still didn’t have it.
    Now, I moved to the Decatur, AL area less than 3 years ago. The Decatur Public Library has had the Overdrive Online Library for over a year now. I use it every once in awhile. I just wish they had mangas. We don’t have those other 2 online libraries you mentioned.
    Also, my father also has a card for the Hartselle Public Library, which is in Hartselle, AL. I use it to check out books, sometimes, when we visit that library. They seem to have newer YA books than the DPL does.
    When I visited my fiance’ a couple years ago, I made him get a library card. That way I could make use of the library services, while I was there. He lives in Spokane, WA, but was not making use of the 10 libraries that Spokane has to offer. Now, me being a person that reads hundreds of books each year, I could not make any sense of that! The Downtown Library in Spokane is amazing, and was my absolute favorite place during my visit.
    When I returned, I asked him for his info. to log in to the Overdrive. Spokane has a wonderful selection of books on there. I don’t know if they have the other 2 online libraries you mentioned.
    Also, I want ti mention that the library can be a great place to BUY books as well. Most of the libraries have a room/store that sells used books that were either donated or discarded. They can usually be bought pretty reasonably as well. So, if someone didn’t want eBooks or audiobooks, and didn’t want checkout/return worries, they might want to check that out as well.

  3. YAY! I lovedy love my library (Seattle Public Library), which does all that PLUS offers DVDs (shows and movies!), lecture series on all manner of things, summer camp activities for kids (one was circus arts….so envious!), community football watching during the playoffs, outreach learning classes, regularly sales of books, and a “tell us what books you loved, we’ll recommend the next 5 you should check out” online service.

    I can say libraries have saved my bacon more than once. When I couldn’t afford an internet connection, I could camp out at my local library to apply to jobs on their internet connection. When I was sick, they lent me DVDs. When I had a super long commute, they lent me audiobooks for my ipod. And although I can’t work for SPL (I lack a Masters in Library Science), I am a huge supporter of them.

    Thank you for boosting the signal and reintroducing people to how awesome libraries are!

  4. Yes! I started using these services last year and I love them. So incredibly convenient. Honestly, if I hadn’t actually talked to my librarian, I probably wouldn’t even know they exist. Pretty awesome!

  5. I discovered the Overdrive library about 3 years ago when I lived in Maine. I have fallen in love with it over the years. I have to admit I am a book hog, and I am sorry for it. I check out books but never read them! Sometimes I try and say “oh I’ll come back to that” and then never do. 2-3 weeks go by and I feel bad if it had a hold on it. Usually I check and return if it does. But anyway, Overdrive is amazing!! I am still able to use my card in Maine and I currently have access to a AZ country library system. πŸ™‚ I request books left and right. I spend hours sometimes looking through the ones I could request for later. There are just so many choices!

    I am surprised at how many people have no idea about their online libraries! They’re awesome!

  6. I think it has been 20 years since I set foot in a library. I suppose it must have change here in Holland as well. But truthfully, I buy so many books, both new and secondhand I don’t have time to borrow books. And to be even more honest, I hate that I have to give them back if I love them … and here in Holland, a library sure is not free. 20 years ago, I had to pay 50 cents for every book I borrowed, and pay for a subscription. They just started to lend out music too.

  7. Awesome post Felicia!!I just gave my local library a call to ask about audiobooks and latest releases. The libraries in the USA are much more advanced than ours but I was quite surprised that we do have an online facility!!

    Thanks for the nudge!

  8. I really need to get a library card here. I didn’t know most of what you were saying, I’m so out of touch with my library it’s not even funny.

  9. I recently discovered OverDrive and started telling all of my friends about it. Especially my friends with kids that have an e-reader. I am horrible about going to the library. I hate to get there and then not be able to find what I need. I love that I can just put titles on hold and they will email me when I can read them. It’s wonderful! This is just a wonderful way to save a little monies :). Awesome post!

  10. Do you know how cool you are in MY book?!?!?!? Thanks for the library LOVE!!! Our library is so depressing b/c all the worker’s favorite saying is, “I don’t have time” but I’m still a card carrying member of ALA and YALSA and Libraries Rule!!!

    YOU ROCK!!!

    • And Librarians (even former ones) are the coolest peeps on the planet!

      Actually Libraries need more love. I am just hoping I can get a few more people using theirs πŸ™‚

      • The sad thing is that some of the librarians have given up. It seems like it’s only us true bibliophiles that are holding up the book world. Librarians don’t have time to promote – they are buried in their everyday tasks and reference desk duties. And they’re down in the dumps about it. But I only see my little world – I need to get out to other libraries. Mine just has no enthusiasm. I’ve got ideas but nobody wants to do them. And no, the ideas don’t suck (Twitter for the library, book talkers, reading groups with the high school libraries, etc).

        I could go on…… sorry… Now I’m depressed about my job….

        • Please keep your hope up- without librarians, the world would fall into chaos and dismay. I know several elderly folks who depend on their local libraries, as well as low-income families who do as well. I know it’s not a glamorous job, underpaid and often overlooked, but any community with a library is indebted to the service of folks like you.
          Thank you.

    • I mostly use it to fill in series I am missing or to try a new author. It is great when I can wishlist stuff for later based off reviews of my favorite bloggers.

  11. Fab post, Felicia! I am a huge fan of the library, and my mom was a librarian so I feel like I grew up there. In fact today I checked out 2 books in person, and one book via overdrive. The best!

    And yeah we have multiple cards for the different systems too. It can get confusing, and sometimes I worry that I’ll return a book to the wrong branch!

    My favorite thing to do is put new releases on hold before their publication date, saving me a little $ too!

    Thanks for all these great tips!

    • Oh I never thought of doing it before they came out! DUH! Such a good idea πŸ™‚

      I only check out physical books from one location because of that reason. I will request inter-library loan but I just keep it geared to the one. It is also the easiest for me to get too πŸ™‚

  12. Love this post. I was just thinking that I seriously need to get back to the library. In St. Louis I had access to 3 really great libraries and used them a lot – until I started blogging. And then I just had too many books coming at me and stopped using them. Now that I’m in Texas I really need to figure out what libraries I can get cards too (I live in Carrollton) and start using it again. Although I spend most my book money on audiobooks and I haven’t had good experiences with listening to audio books from the library. I don’t have a CD player so I’m just doing the digital ones (using overdrive). Last time I tried that I had a horrible time saving my spot and I hated that I couldn’t do bookmarks. I think Audible spoiled me for other listening experiences :/

    • I think Carrolton will have the same deals I have in The Colony (since I can get their library card). You should be able to get The Colony, Frisco, Lewisville, Plano, and Farmers Branch. I would check but I am pretty sure that you we all have to the same deals in place πŸ™‚


    I have library cards to two libraries. The one in the little town I live in is FREE and the one in the city that I work is costs me money, but is worth it for the online access to ebooks and audiobooks. They also have a ton of locations in the surrounding area so lots of books to get my hands on when I ask for a certain title.

    I hope your post helps people use their library more!

  14. Amen Sista! I meant to do this post during our Audiobook Celebration. I pay $25 a year to access Arlington’s Online & Physical Catalog. That is the price of 1 audiobook. So worth it. Now my local library has online access. I shop from both. They have very little overlap. WIN!!

    • That is awesome! I was reading yesterday about a library program called Tex Share. I am going to look into that. I don’t know if it is just research materials or more πŸ™‚

  15. I really don’t use my library these days except to donate books.

    I have wanted to check to see if they were loaning ebooks yet though.

    My hubby used to borrow audio books because of his long drive to work.

    • Check! I know my library didn’t start until mid-last year but they bulked up their ebooks quickly. I think it is taking some longer to come online but it is a great for the library πŸ™‚

  16. I use my library a lot. I used to be bummed because the library up the road had digital content and we didn’t. I cannot be a member unless I live there (checked) so I thought I was SOL. I couldn’t understand why we didn’t because my community supports our libraries so much. Finally we have it (for a few years now) but I forget to check out a physical book from time to time (or audio… as long as it is a physical one) because otherwise my card times out. LOL Found that out when suddenly the card wouldn’t work and the librarian told me what I had to do (not sure if this is common).

    See if your libraries can get Hoopla ( I got signed up but haven’t used it… yet. It seems to have some of the digital media my library didn’t have. Great post!

    • I figured that you probably did πŸ™‚

      Bummer on the having to check out a physical book. Luckily I don’t have to do that or I would be screwed. I do have to use either overdrive or take a course in a year time to keep it active but that really isn’t a problem. I probably do both at least once a quarter.

      I am going to have to mention Hoopla! My mom is on the board so I can get her to bring it up LOL

  17. I love libraries. Always have. My first job was as a paige in a library — I shelved, I called people about holds, I checked out, I checked in. And I loved it. Because I live in a relatively large-ish city, my public library has branches so, belonging to that means I get to use all the branches. It’s fabulous. Up with Libraries!!

    • Libraries are the bomb! I helped in mine in High School but really wished I would have done more once I got out. I am thinking of applying for a seat on the board but I am not sure if I want to get involved on that end. I do work with my library with some of their events though and that is always fun πŸ™‚

  18. I need to see if my library has audiobooks. I have recently started utilizing the library again since I go all the time with my kids. What a fantastic post, I love the library and I had no idea it did so much good to get your books there.

    • You should! I know mine has them both online and physical. Just watch out on the physical and check to make sure they are CDs. Last time I didn’t check I ended up with cassettes LOL

    • It is super great to have when looking to fill in spots when reading series. I can usually find an online copy having access to more than one library πŸ™‚

  19. I β™₯ the library something fierce! The card for mine is linked to all the other city libraries in the county, which makes for a huge selection. I just borrowed my first audiobook, and it was super easy – I just needed the Acoustik app for my phone.

    Our library is doing a young writers workshop in a couple of weeks, which my daughter is super excited about. πŸ™‚

    • I think if I lived in Dallas it might but alas I am a burbanite LOL πŸ™‚ You are very very lucky πŸ™‚

      Oh I hope she has fun! My library does a lot for young writers. I love that libraries are doing that. It encourages the writers of tomorrow πŸ™‚

  20. I thought with Denton having 3 libraries I would get a great selection but so far never find what I am looking for. I will have to see if they have any agreements with other cities like yours does.

  21. I LOVE getting eBooks from my library. We have a bunch of different locations spread over the city and its borders, so I can either get physical copies and they send them to my closest one, or I can easily get an eBook too without leaving the house. It’s the best thing ever and saves so much money!
    People definitely need to use the library more.

    • I am not going to judge. I didn’t step into mine until June of last year. Ever since then I have used it like crazy (online) and LURVE IT! Yes, I did have to go in to get my library card but the rest I have done online πŸ™‚

  22. I have two library cards too, one In Illionis and a second in Wisconsin. I thought it was very interesting how their online catalogs are different, both in size and operation. Wisconsin’s being much more extensive, maybe more people read in -20 weather. Anyway, I love libraries and their Overdrive program, great post!

    • I think it is awesome that you have them from different states. I think it is crazy how different one library is run from the other but I figure that probably has to do with budgets πŸ™‚

  23. One of the libraries near me do not have much when it comes to English audio books but the other one is better so something at least πŸ™‚ And yes there is that online catalogue too for me

    • YEAH! I wondered how it worked over seas. That is awesome that you guys have a great library system too. It is the same here–some branches are better than others.

  24. YES! I have two library cards. One with my city and one with my state. There is a “gateway” program that if you have a city card you can get one to the main state library and they have TONS of UF/PNR ebooks and audio books.

    They use Overdrive which I have a love/hate relationship with. The hate part is that a lot of the titles are not Mac friendly so I have to jump through hoops to download some of the audio books. It’s a good thing that our desktop computer is a Dell since my laptop is a Mac.

    I’ve downloaded the Overdrive app to my iphone, laptop, desktop and Nook. So between the for devices I can usually access the titles but I tried to check out BITTEN last month I could not get it to download on any of them and ended up using an audio credit instead.

      • You can totally count me in! On that challenge it might almost be cheating again but I have a feeling that I am going to get more into my library as the year goes on πŸ™‚

    • I am hoping that my library starts getting more UF. I have asked them to start doing πŸ™‚ Their collection is getting better online and I am super excited.

      Overdrive is limited on my phone but I do like using it on my laptop. πŸ™‚ I am hoping the library starts ordering more audiobooks that are available across all applications because it is annoying to listen through my laptop because I don’t carry it everywhere. However at free I will get over it πŸ™‚

  25. I love this post πŸ™‚ I love getting audiobooks from the library on Overdrive. Although they’re not always available on MP3. I hate when it is WMA only because I can’t do those on my phone. Sometimes there’s a long wait too if it is a popular book, but if you’re not particular about which book you’re borrowing at which time (aka you’re not looking for a book club book), then library e-borrow programs are awesome!

    • Exactly! Most of the “timely” reads I need is what I use my book budget for but when I am looking to fill in series, read something new, or try something outside my “reading norm” then the library is an awesome resource.