Just the other morning, I shared on our Instagram feed that the first words out of my 3-year-old’s mouth were, “I want to go to the library.” Unfortunately, with COVID-19 keeping us all at home, that means no more weekly trips to the library. No more extracurricular trips to anywhere.
Now is a great time to make use of your library card… even if you can’t leave home.
Really quickly, I wanted to talk about two wonderful apps that can deliver to you eBooks, audiobooks, comic books, movies and music all in a matter of seconds… for free!
Just a side note: You’ll need a working library card. If you don’t have one, don’t let that stop you. Some libraries are more than willing to create a card for you over the phone… for free!
The free Libby app is the easiest way to get started with digital books, audiobooks and magazines from your public library. It is available for many Apple and Android devices, and if for some reason you find your device isn’t compatible, then you can use the OverDrive app the same.
Once you download the Libby app, you can set up a free account in a matter of seconds and be on your way searching for your next read.
There are literally thousands of titles at your fingertips and the great thing is, you won’t have to worry about racking up late fees or fines. The titles will automatically disappear when they are due.
One of my favorite features of Libby is that I can download an eBook to my Kindle library. I prefer reading with my Kindle Oasis before bedtime because the screen is much better on my eyes. Also, I find the Kindle is better for reading outside since there is less glare on the screen.
One of my grumbles about Libby is that there is often a looooong wait time on popular titles… say, 25 weeks, for example. Just in case you think I’m exaggerating, I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to borrow a book on the What’s Popular? list within the app. See the results:
The number of loans you can have for a month will vary by library. I am pleased to report that my library generously offers 5 loans per month.
Get in on the Hoopla!
Hoopla is the second app that brings you a fabulous variety of eBooks and audiobooks. Also included is quite a hefty database of movies, TV Shows and music… all for, you guessed it, FREE!
The best thing with Hoopla is there is no waiting list and no holds. You get what you want right now.
The downside is the selection can vary from time to time, so titles can be a little more difficult to come by. In fact, when I searched for the same very popular title that I did over on Libby, Hoopla came up with nothing. Big bummer.
Again, like with Libby, you have a limit on the amount of loans you can check out for a month. Your titles will automatically disappear once they are due. Audiobooks usually last around 3 weeks and a movie hangs around for about 3 days.
I just recently discovered eLibraryMN.org. Its huge database is wide open to all Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota residents until June 2020. Wow! What a goldmine!
If you look in the bottom left hand corner, you’ll see “Featured Resources” where there is a link to their Ebooks K-5 Collection (or you can get there by clicking the EBOOKS database above it). This has been keeping my 3rd-grade son busy reading for hours. Yesterday he wanted to read about volcanoes and today it was tigers. He also found some other fun picture book titles that he read to his little sister.
If you love exploring, head on over to their website. I’m sure you’ll find plenty to keep busy until June!
Put that Library Card to Use
Even though most of our country is home bound, you can go anywhere you want in the pages of a book.
In case you need more convincing, let’s review the bonuses of using your library card from home:
- Hours of learning and entertainment
- No late fees or fines
- Easy to use
- Access titles anytime from anywhere
- No subscription fees