Do you have a library card? What electronic lending services does your library offer?

There are so many great ways to get information on the internet. Sometimes people overlook the services their local library provides. It’s one more resource where people can find some great information or entertainment without cost to them.

At one time, I used to obtain library cards from cities in my state whenever I traveled somewhere. At the time, there was no requirement that I be a resident of the area, just a resident of the state. Many of the places have changed this policy since, from what I can tell. Since I’d be remote from them, I couldn’t take out library books, but I could still use their electronic services which were better than my local ones. Some of those electronic e-book and audiobook services were really nice.

There was a service called netlibrary that had some really nice audiobooks from Recorded Books. There was another service called Overdrive that wasn’t as good but still had some nice audiobooks.

Those library cards have all expired except for my local ones. But even the local ones now have some pretty nice electronic services. There’s a service that allows you to look at several magazines online (pretty pictures1). There are a couple e-book services which also offer audiobooks of some of the e-books. There is also access to academic websites and some job-placement related type services.

Do you have a library card? Do you use the electronic services from your library?

It might be helpful to others if you named them so people know which services to look for. Librarians that I’ve spoken with haven’t been very knowledgeable about electronic services as much as they know about books, but they may be able to get more services if people ask for them by name.

I have a library card. I have not been to our main library in years tho. I take my grandkids (ages 6 & 7) to the Bookmobile that stops in our area every 3 weeks. I do it because I want them to be excited about reading and to hopefully to bring about a love for books as I had as a kid (and still have). I also use my card to get audiobooks from the Overdrive app. Overdrive offers both books to read and audiobooks. It has saved me a ton of money. I listen to books when I walk and when I’m in the car so I “read” several books a month.

Nice! I’ve gotten out of the habit of downloading Overdrive audiobooks. Your post reminds me that I might want to take a look at their selection again.

Thanks for sharing that.

I have three. Whenever we move to a new town, the first things we look for are:
the church we will go to, the grocery store, the best Christian radio station, and the library.

The library in my last place of residence was the best I’ve ever used. They had many programs for patrons of all ages. I worked there for a year, and wish I still did. Because of its location and quality, there were almost twice as many patrons as the population of the the city. They have a very good e-library system, so I can still get Kindle or Overdrive books (I think they have other systems, but I don’t use them so I don’t know anything about them) from them, even though I’m 9 hours away.

The local library is very disappointing. They have few real books that I want to check out, and the place is so user-unfriendly that I don’t want to spend time there. The Large Print section is marked with very small signs that have LP written on them, and I wonder if anyone who really needs large print can read them. There is no separation between fiction and non-fiction. All fiction books are in 813 of the Dewey Decimal system. Spine Labels are huge and cover up parts of the author’s name and title, but never the publisher. :smack:
They spent a large chunk of money to build a new building, but they didn’t spend much on books. The entire adult book section takes up less than 1/4 of the building. In 3 years, I think they’ve bought 2 new books I wanted.
Thankfully, they are part of the state electronic library system, so I am able to access innumerable electronic books. They allow patrons to recommend books for purchase, and I have been able to read many books that way.

I worked in another town and joined that town’s library, too. A very good library, it has more programs and new books than the local. Unfortunately, it is an hour’s drive, so it’s harder to justify going just for the library. That state also has an e-library system, but it is so clunky and user-unfriendly that I just gave up.

My budget has never been big enough to include many books. I usually read mysteries, and I have little desire to reread them, so I see no reason to buy books. If a book is so good I do want to read it again, I ask for it for Christmas.

That’s my situation as well. That’s the reason that I looked into electronic services as much as I have.

I used to read/listen to cozy mysteries at one time. Maybe in another thread one day, we’ll get to share our favorites.

I just learned yesterday about a service called Hooplathat not only gives you access to TV and movies, ebooks and audiobooks, but also comic books. I haven’t checked it out yet but this thread reminded me to send the info to my brother, who reads comics.

I live right inbetween Cleveland and Akron and all of our local libraries are either Cleveland or Akron satellites. The main campuses are very good and modern with TONS of resources (including Maker labs). Some of the branches aren’t that great but you’re never too far from a good one. I have a card with each system.

Very cool! That looks awesome.

If you learn more, please let us know. I checked out the website very quickly. They ask for your email and password to register, but it doesn’t give an indication of whether your local library has to be a member. I didn’t put in an email address, so I don’t know what the next screen asks.

That would be wonderful. I have pretty much caught up with all the authors I read, and I need some recommendations for new ones.
(I’m pretty eclectic in my reading choices, but I do tend to favor cozies.)

I volunteer at a local satellite library. The physical library isn’t that great. It’s a newish building and has a great genealogy section and childrens library. But the electronic system is nice. I use the Kindle service more than anything.

I have library cards both for my suburb’s library, and for the system which includes every other public library in the county (my suburb just likes to be different, I guess). I’m not really big on ebooks (text or audio), but I do make a lot of use of the dead-tree books and the other services (especially the makerspace ZipperJJ mentioned).

I don’t know if it still is, but the Cleveland library used to be part of an extended network that stretched as far as Sandusky (I used to get a lot of books on interlibrary loan from there). So there’s a chance that my card might be good there, too.

I signed up for Hoopla. First screen is adding a username, next screen lets you search for a library where you have an account.

Even though I have an account with the Akron Summit County Public Library (I don’t have my card handy, I got my number off their website after logging in) I wasn’t able to log in using my card for there. It’s possible that for some reason the card is tied to my hometown library (a branch of Akron) and my branch is not listed as a participant with Hoopla.

I was able to sign up using my library card for the Cleveland system library in the next town over, though. You can only have one active library at a time. I can only check out 15 things per month through this library. Not sure if I could get 15 through them, change libraries, and get 15 more.

Anyway…they let you search for your library from a list of participants.

Thank you! I appreciate the information.

I called my local library. They don’t subscribe, but the two people I talked with knew what it was and sounded excited about it, so apparently, it’s pretty popular. It also sounds a bit expensive since they said they won’t be able to afford it anytime soon, if ever.

The next county over does subscribe. I do have a library card from there, but I can’t access it, so it might be expired. It’s too far to get to at the moment, so I’m hoping they can renew over the phone.

Thanks again for the information. It looks like a fun service.

I’m a huge proponent of the library system here in Massachusetts. As I’ve noted previously, the local library can order me any book, CD or DVD from another branch and have it here in a couple of days.

I looked at Hoopla and found it underwhelming. Most of the stuff on offer was public domain, and thus readily available elsewhere.

Chicago Public Library, I almost exclusively use it to borrow ebooks in kindle format. I fill up my queue and then check them out as they become available.

I joined the Orange County Public Library for the sole purpose of getting ebooks. I haven’t stepped foot into the actual library since I got my card.

The library uses Overdrive and the worst thing about that is the wait for some books.

Speaking of, can anyone tell me why I have to wait for an ebook? If it’s just data, shouldn’t there be unlimited “copies” of it? What am I missing?



I still like to check out treebooks (I’m reading one now about the history of radiation exposure since the 1890’s up through the 1990’s when it was published) but I also like the ebooks. I am definitely going to check out Hoopla.

I also check out DVD’s and language CD’s from the library. I’ve occasionally used inter-library loan. I do a lot of stuff through the local branch, but still drop by the central library every so often, not the least because it’s the only open on Sunday.

Like any other book, the library has purchased X number copies of the e-book. They can lend each e-book to one person at a time. Otherwise there is no way publishers would make eBooks, everybody could just get unlimited copies from a library.

I use the Columbus Metro library system. They use Overdrive and a new app called Libby, which I think is Overdrive produced. Libby is useful for finding audio books, checking them out, and listening to the book. Very good new tool.

Hell, yes, I have a library card. :slight_smile: I would be lost without a good public library. I use my university library for work (research with inter library loan, JSTOR, etc.), but I borrow nearly all of my pleasure/leisure reading books from the public library. I don’t really use any of the electronic services and TBH I’m not even sure which services they offer. I have noticed that when I place holds for physical copies of books that I receive them more quickly than I used to, so I assume that more library patrons are reading via e-books these days. They also have a good collection of DVDs that fill in the gaps Netflix doesn’t cover.

Of course I have a library card. I usually go to a branch library, since it is easier to get to and park at, but sometimes go to the main library. Plus, the Bookmobile parks across the street from my house every two weeks. We always go and check something out to help with their usage statistics. Since it goes to schools, the kids book selection is better than the adult book selection, but they do have lots of DVDs.

As for electronic, they have Overdrive which I use to load my Kindle with books when I go on a trip. I have so many unread books and magazines in my collection that I don’t use it otherwise. There is also access to a while bunch of e-magazines, which I look at some times.

Since there are so many libraries in our system, books I do want are often not in the libraries I go to, but it is easy to put a hold on them and have them delivered to my local branch. They also have Link+, which lets you order books from outside the system like university libraries. My wife uses that all the time for research.
Wait there’s more. They also have a program where you can get free passes to museums in the Bay Area which we’ve used a lot.

The iOS Libby app syncs with my local library allowing me to check out print and audiobooks