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Digital public libraries

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Werner | 23 comments Anyone else use their public library to check out ebooks? I don’t know how many copies libraries generally get or how that all works with the publisher, but it seems like all the books I want to check out digitally are in hold lines up to 6 months long. Also, the dead tree additions are usually available, is this a sign of the times? Or are libraries having trouble transitioning.


message 2: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 45 comments I get e-books from my public library all the time. They are usually available or have short holds, but some popular or new titles have such long waits I will look for other methods. I LOVE that libraries can do ebooks!!!


message 3: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2138 comments All the time. There are limits on the checkout of ebooks which is reasonable otherwise you could see a single copy checked out hundreds and hundreds of times.

I find that the wait time is bad on very popular new release books, not bad at all on other stuff.


message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill | 73 comments You should check if you get a hoopla subscription through your library. I get one through my library and can borrow 5 titles a month and there are no holds. Between the 2 services I can always find something available while I wait for holds to come in.


message 5: by Steven (new)

Steven Leiva | 83 comments Bill wrote: "You should check if you get a hoopla subscription through your library. I get one through my library and can borrow 5 titles a month and there are no holds. Between the 2 services I can always find..."

YES! I use Hoopla all the time and it's great. They also have a large selection of comics to borrow.


message 6: by corkhead (new)

corkhead | 6 comments I am always borrowing eBooks from my libraries through OverDrive and I hecking love it. Even when waitlists are long, there's such a huge catalog that there's always something available that I'm interested in reading.

I think one of the problems with eBook waitlists is people not knowing how to return them (especially when they have to go through Amazon for Kindle books or Adobe for ePub), or just not proactively returning them after they finish.

Specific to OverDrive, some libraries allow you to recommend eBooks to purchase that they don't already own. I don't do it often, but they almost always end up buying the title. I haven't seen any built-in way to request additional copies of a book they already own though.


message 7: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4751 comments I use a combination of Libby and Hoopla, and between the two I have plenty to read.

For Libby I also use my mom’s library card in addition to my own, which gives me access to Ohio’s library system, a much larger one than New Hampshire’s. The wait times are longer but the selection is larger. Trade-off.


message 8: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2558 comments I get a lot of books through the several libraries I have a card for. It's mostly LA public library but my local one has a decent selection, and I turn to the County one from time to time.

In most cases the wait is at least a cycle (three weeks) so I line them up. On occasion I'll have too many and wind up rushing. When I have too few I might buy something, usually an Indie author. There's also plenty available without a wait, usually older stuff. They also have audiobooks although that isn't my bag.


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (Pezski) | 440 comments I've signed up to my library's ebook & audiobook service, but I've not used it yet, which is terrible of me! I just have so many books (hard copy and electronic) already and am having trouble weaning myself off buying them


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2287 comments Hoopla is great, and to my tastes, better than the other eBook options which can get SO clunky.

I particularly like Hoopla for the comics availability.


message 11: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 553 comments I use Overdrive all the time (and now the new app Libby) for both ebooks and audiobooks. I love that they are automatically returned when they expire so I don't have to drive to the library to return them on time!


message 12: by Rush (last edited May 16, 2018 09:29AM) (new)

Rush | 4 comments LibriVox has a multitude of Public Domain audiobooks that are read by volunteers and free to listen to. Many of them are very good quality and if there's an old classic that you're looking to visit/re-visit, then there's a decent chance that it's in there. The interface is a bit clunky, but I just see it as the digital version of rummaging through an old, hole-in-the-wall bookstore.

As an example: The Great God Pan, by Arthur Machen and The King in Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers are reportedly were some of H.P. Lovecrafts biggest influences. I enjoy quite a bit of Lovecraft's works (both his horror and his scifi), and wanted to check out his influences. Guess what? There in there!

Works from greats like Lewis Carroll, Mary Shelley, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are in good number as well.

While not the cutting edge that most people are probably hankering for; if you're interested in literary roots and seeing how older influences affect today's literary designs, its a treasure trove!

Link:
https://librivox.org/


message 13: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2138 comments I"ll second Hoopla esp for comics. The other thing I'd do is put holds on things you want to read. Over time, you'll have stuff come off hold and be ready for you and it will happen more and more if you consistently place holds. Sort of like time delay reading.

Between the library and ebooks on sale, the only stuff I buy at full price are books that 1) are reasonably priced to start or 2) from authors who I know are still 'mid-list' and thus can use sales and whose work I really love.


message 14: by Ian (last edited May 16, 2018 11:46AM) (new)

Ian Seal (Rebel-Geek) | 74 comments I've been using Libby & Hoopla for Audiobooks, ebooks & movies (when I'm desperate). I just downloaded OverDrive. I'm excited to try it! It's saved me so much money to use these apps!

Please proactively return your ebooks & audiobooks when you finish them. I do it every time. People are waiting. That was you & will be again.


message 15: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2138 comments Ian - overdrive and libby use the same backend, FYI.

And I second Ian's plea to return things when you're done with them, especially if you know there are other holds.


message 16: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 669 comments I wish my library used Hoopla, rather than OverDrive. I've heard the comic selection is much better with Hoopla. I have not used either service yet.


message 17: by David (new)

David (farrakut) | 727 comments Usually good libraries will subscribe to multiple online services. I've got like 3 different ebook ones. Overdrive, Freading, some special video streaming stuff like Kanopy and Criterion Collection


message 18: by Meaghan (new)

Meaghan (ladymeag) | 8 comments My library offers Overdrive/Libby and Hoopla.

I don't use Hoopla as much as I do Overdrive but the vast majority of the 15-20 books read a month in my house are borrowed through Overdrive.

My library also offers a "suggest for purchase" for up to five books per patron per month - I usually max mine out, the rest of my family usually only use one or two each. We can have up to 20 books per patron checked out at a time with a ridiculously long hold list. To keep hold lists shorter, I do my part by going back into my Amazon account and returning the book as soon as I'm done rather than waiting for the borrow to expire. A few extra clicks for me but maybe someone else gets the book a week or two sooner.


message 19: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 669 comments Meaghan wrote: "My library also offers a "suggest for purchase" for up to five books per patron per month"

My library allows patrons to use this feature 3 times a day. And I use it frequently. Just about all the books, or comics rather, that I check out come through purchase requests. Only on the rare occasion do I come up on an issue like it not being available for purchase through their distributor.


message 20: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 215 comments corkhead wrote: "I think one of the problems with eBook waitlists is people not knowing how to return them (especially when they have to go through Amazon for Kindle books or Adobe for ePub), or just not proactively returning them after they finish."

Overdrive doesn't allow early returns, but you can set a shorter checkout period. Maybe early returns are an add-on that most libraries won't pay for.
I suspect many other systems have similar restrictions. After all, there's no real technical reason to limit checkouts and have waitlists.


message 21: by HeyT (new)

HeyT | 17 comments I have library cards for 5 of the local cities around where I live and most of them use overdrive for their digital content. Two cities share catalog/check out privileges together BUT digital content can only be accessed if you library card is from that city's main branch so I have to borrow my mom's card to use the one in the other city when a digital book is only available in that city.

One city does both hoopla and overdrive and then one city is completely weird and uses cloud library which has an app with adobe reader systems technology inside it but I have as yet to figure out how to access the ebooks on my non-tablet ereader since I can't download the app on it.


message 22: by John (Taloni) (last edited May 16, 2018 05:23PM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2558 comments Aaron wrote: "Overdrive doesn't allow early returns"

Really? I was puzzled at first too because there wasn't a return button on the library interface. But there is one at Amazon so when we say "return overdrive book" it might just be shorthand for "go to Amazon and return library book." Which is what I do, using Account & Lists > Manage Your Content and Devices > click ellipsis to the left of the book title > clicking "return this book." Give it a whirl. I'm curious if some libraries really don't allow early returns - certainly a possibility given limited library funds.


message 23: by Trike (last edited May 16, 2018 05:27PM) (new)

Trike | 4751 comments Hoopla is great for comics. It has a built-in viewer which takes you from panel to panel, and even to text within larger panels. A very useful feature for me when my eyes were all wonky, although the downside was that it only has a white background which defeated the purpose by washing out the image. At those times it was easier to zoom in on the image manually.


message 24: by David (new)

David (farrakut) | 727 comments Yeah, some of the libraries allow you to adjust your checkout periods, but corkhead had it right--to return early you have to go through Amazon (if a Kindle book) or the Adobe Digital Editions program (if an epub book). It's pretty easy, but not everyone knows.


message 25: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 3 comments If you're reading directly in the Libby app, you can return items early really easily, which is why that's my first recommendation for Overdrive users. It's possible if you download through Kindle, but not an intuitive process, so many users don't bother.

One big issue with ebook waitlists is that ebook licenses for libraries can be prohibitively expensive (sometimes 3 or 4 times the cost of the print book) so we frequently can't afford to buy multiple copies of the same book, even for massively popular titles. There's also the fact that many libraries subscribe to Overdrive through consortia, so you're not just getting holds from people in your city, but people throughout the consortium (the library I work at is part of a consortium of 50). On top of those issues, different publishers have different licensing models - some work the same way as print books (unlimited loans in perpetuity), but others you're buying a license for a set number of loans, or a set period of time - so licenses can expire while people are still waiting on the holds list, and your library may or may not have the funds to repurchase at the time.

Hoopla is a great service, but it can also get pricey pretty quickly (since it's a pay-per-download model, rather than a subscription fee or purchasing individual licenses). Our first year using Hoopla was a steep learning curve, as we set our borrowing limit too high at first and had to throttle way back to avoid going over budget, which frustrated some of our more active users. As a graphic novel collection development librarian, however, I really appreciate that I can supplement our fairly small physical collection with such a great assortment of digital titles.


message 26: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2558 comments Brooke wrote: "As a graphic novel collection development librarian"

Wow! That is part of your job? That's cooler than should be possible.

Kind-of related, my local town library (Fullerton CA) has a great selection of graphic novels. It's far better than any of the Orange County branch libraries. I have no small amount of pride that our little library does that. I've kind of wondered how they manage it, but now I have an idea.


message 27: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 669 comments Brooke wrote: "As a graphic novel collection development librarian"

How much of that is looking at what others request for purchase (if your library does that), versus what you think patrons will read/popular?


message 28: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 3 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "Brooke wrote: "As a graphic novel collection development librarian"
Wow! That is part of your job? That's cooler than should be possible.
"


It is! I also do SFF and DVDs, so it's pretty much my dream job.

Louie wrote: How much of that is looking at what others request for purchase (if your library does that), versus what you think patrons will read/popular?"

I actually don't get a lot of requests from patrons, so a lot of the time I feel like I'm flying blind. I rely on Diamond and the publishers to let me know what is anticipated to be popular, and our vendor to see what other libraries are ordering.


message 29: by Charles (last edited May 18, 2018 10:37AM) (new)

Charles Cadenhead (thatCharlieDude) | 132 comments Our local library is a member of a regional online library group. And since our local library currently shares space with a middle school, their ebook holdings are much greater than their physical stock.
Wait lists aren't really a problem for me, I think the longest I've waited was 3 months. My problem is that they don't seem to have to the books I want to read and I can only request a limited number (5 per 6 mos?) of books and requesting them doesn't mean the library will purchase them.


message 30: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 669 comments Brooke wrote: "I actually don't get a lot of requests from patrons, so a lot of the time I feel like I'm flying blind."

Then I would be your ideal patron. I request at least 10-15 graphic novels every month. :D


message 31: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2138 comments For US people, if you're near a major city do this - find out if the city library has an ebook/audio book program AND check the surrounding county for a library system too.

I don't know how common this is but here Seattle has a city system and the county it's in, King county, has a separate system. I can use both and, while sometimes I still strike out, it helps a bit.


message 32: by Charles (new)

Charles Cadenhead (thatCharlieDude) | 132 comments Rick wrote: "For US people, if you're near a major city do this - find out if the city library has an ebook/audio book program AND check the surrounding county for a library system too.

I don't know how commo..."

Good idea!
Here in North Texas it's city run. Some systems you can buy a library card for if you're not within the city limits. There is a larger city near us but we're just outside of their boundaries. I've bought a year pass before but it doesn't cover ebook/audio books. :(


message 33: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 284 comments If you are in a decent sized metropolitan area, you can also try the main city library and suburban libraries. Where I live, a lot of the suburban libraries have a joint digital overdrive site.


message 34: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2138 comments Yeah, this will work better near a major city, but I mentioned this in case people hadn't thought of it. I started doing this a few years ago and it makes the wait for things better usually and in some cases one system will have something that the other does not.


message 35: by Tasha (new)

Tasha | 101 comments Rick wrote: "For US people, if you're near a major city do this - find out if the city library has an ebook/audio book program AND check the surrounding county for a library system too.

I don't know how commo..."


I was at the Seattle library last week! It's like wonderland.


message 36: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2138 comments The downtown one? Yeah, that's amazingly cool, isn't it?

For those who've not been... it's slightly different on the outside than many libraries:




message 37: by KevBayer (new)

KevBayer (SporadicReviews) | 500 comments Rick wrote: "For US people, if you're near a major city do this - find out if the city library has an ebook/audio book program AND check the surrounding county for a library system too.

I don't know how commo..."


I use King and Snohomish County libraries, since I live in one and work in the other. Handy!


message 38: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4751 comments KevBayer wrote: "I use King and Snohomish County libraries, since I live in one and work in the other. Handy! "

You live in a library? Whoa. o.0


message 39: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2138 comments Trike wrote: "KevBayer wrote: "I use King and Snohomish County libraries, since I live in one and work in the other. Handy! "

You live in a library? Whoa. o.0"


It's a Seattle thing :)


message 40: by Ctgt (last edited May 19, 2018 05:28PM) (new)

Ctgt | 321 comments I use Overdrive, Hoopla and Cloud library. I don't have any problems returning items early.
I've run in to what Brooke talked about, my Hoopla checkout limit has dropped from 10 to 6 per month.
And yes, Hoopla is great for comics.


message 41: by David (new)

David Newhall | 32 comments I belong to 8 of the 9 DC area library systems that have reciprocity. Anyone, anywhere can get a non-resident card from the Fairfax County library for $17 a year. Full disclosure, I work there. You just apply online. We create an account and add the $17 charge to the account and you then pay online.


message 42: by Tracey (new)

Tracey | 30 comments Brooke wrote: "If you're reading directly in the Libby app, you can return items early really easily, which is why that's my first recommendation for Overdrive users. It's possible if you download through Kindle,..."

Thanks for your comment! I never heard of the Libby app, but looked into it and my local library is set up to use it. I was looking for a way to get audiobooks for free since Audible can be expensive. I've downloaded the Libby app and have started listening to books there!


message 43: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 215 comments Many southern California public libraries allow any resident of the state to get a card (I have a dozen or so). Whenever you travel, try to make time to check that card policies of the area you are traveling to. You might be able to expand your options.


message 44: by Jason (new)

Jason Werner | 23 comments Do any of you have your library card number memorized? I’ve started memorizing mine, trying knew apps and to logging into my local library’s online catalog.


message 45: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 669 comments I login to my library's online catalog at least once a day, but all my login info is saved, so no need to memorize.


message 46: by LouLouReads (new)

LouLouReads | 7 comments I think the equivalent of Overdrive in the UK (or at least at my local library) is BorrowBox - allows for downloading of ebooks and audiobooks. I have the app on my phone but need my library ID to sign in.


message 47: by David (new)

David (farrakut) | 727 comments I've memorized two of my library card numbers--my DC library number because that was my primary for so long, and my stupid browser wouldn't always memorize it.

And the other is my Montgomery County library number because I use it to log into the Marina state interlibrary loan (free!) all the time.


message 48: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 3 comments Charles wrote: "Rick wrote: "Here in North Texas it's city run. Some systems you can buy a library card for if you're not within the city limits..."

Many Texas libraries also participate in the TexShare card program, which is a free card you get from your home library that allows you to get limited-use cards for free at other participating libraries. They aren't the most convenient things (most expire every six months and have to be renewed at your home library first), and in some cases borrowing privileges are quite limited (most libraries don't include digital resources, and you're usually limited to ~5 physical check-outs at a time), but they are free and easy to get.


message 49: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3642 comments David, you have access to Fairfax County AND Montgomery? I didn’t know that was possible.

But I am horrible about using libraries. Which is a shame because I’ve heard that the library nearest me in Sterling is quite nice.


message 50: by David (new)

David Newhall | 32 comments terpkristin, all the DC area Council of Government member jurisdictions have reciprocity. You actually have to go and present ID to get a card, but you can get one. If you search for a title your own system doesn't have on overdrive.com and filter by region, it will show which nearby system have it. That's how I ended up with 8 library cards. Loudoun does have an excellent library system and the best selection of travel e-books.


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