Overdrive software ( http://www.overdrive.com/) allows patrons to download ebooks and audio books from their local library. It’s not necessary to own an ebook reader. Anyone can download these files to a computer, smart phone, or Apple device.
I’m happy that my out of print books reissued in ebook format are now available for this market. As for me, all I can do on my cell phone is make calls, send text messages, and go on the Internet for brief intervals. Would I really want to check out a virtual book from the library for 21 days to read on my phone? Would you? And what happens after your three weeks are done— the book vanishes from your device? What if you haven’t finished the story?
An article from the Sun-Sentinel titled “Libraries go high-tech with audio, e-books” by Doreen Christensen says you can read ebook library titles on the Sony and Nook readers and soon on the iPad. Or on your phone, if you have an iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry. This is great for old folks or people who can’t get around, but do they possess these devices? If not, that leaves it up to tech savvy young’uns and middle agers to download ebooks and audio. Young people today are growing up with these devices, but what about the rest of us raised in the day when computers didn't exist?
In addition to computer classes at our libraries and adult education schools, I think we need to add hands-on workshops on How to Work the various gizmos. Here are some topics I’d suggest:
- How to Choose a Smart Phone.
- Which Ebook reader is for you?
- How to download a pdf file to your Ebook reader.
- Playing an Audio Book on your Handheld Device.
- How do you convert your doc format into a readable file that works on your device?
- What else can you do on your phone besides make a call?
- What’s an App?
- I want to check movie listings and order a pizza. How can I do it on my device?
- How to browse the library shelves from your home office.
We have all these wonderful options now, including borrowing books from the library by a simple download onto our smart phone or ebook reader. But the more technology advances, the more we need someone to demonstrate what we can do with these wondrous devices. What kinds of questions would you want answered?