Chances are very good that someone you know will receive an e-reader this holiday. That is, if they didn’t already get one last holiday, or for their birthday, or for Valentine’s Day, or for an anniversary.
That someone could even be you, and that e-reader could be something specifically designed for reading books, or it could be a tablet computer that does a dozen other things. And don’t forget that smart phone in your pocket. It will probably let you read e-books and listen to audio books as well.
While many e-readers and tablets are designed to make it easy to buy books online, did you know you may also be able to borrow e-books from your local public library? That’s right. You can get them at your library for no extra charge. Your tax dollars are already supporting your local library, so why not take advantage of their e-book offerings?
An article in USA Today Wednesday highlighted this increasingly common public library service. It even offers a link to a series of lessons on how to “cope with the technical peculiarities of library e-books.” (Note: the lessons are Windows-centric, but even if you’re an Apple fan boy or girl, there’s good information here.)
So which Oklahoma public libraries offer e-books and audio books through their websites for check out? According to information from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, seven of the state’s eight library systems offer the service. Here they are:
- Chickasaw Regional Library System serving Atoka, Carter, Johnston, Love and Murray counties;
- Eastern Oklahoma District Library System serving Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, McIntosh, Muskogee and Sequoyah counties;
- Metropolitan Library System serving Oklahoma County;
- Pioneer Library System serving Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties;
- Southeastern Public Library System of Oklahoma serving Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain and Pittsburg counties;
- Tulsa City-County Library System serving Tulsa County; and,
- Western Plains Library System serving Custer, Dewey, Roger Mills and Washita counties.
The Chickasaw system gets its downloadable e-book and audio book service through the OK Virtual Library, a consortium of public libraries in the state that have joined together to offer digital collections. You’ll also find 16 additional municipal libraries—from Miami to Guymon, Stillwater to Mustang, Enid to Duncan—that offer electronic and audio books through the OK Virtual Library. They offer books in ePub, Kindle, and audio formats. Plus, the list of participating libraries is growing!
(Update 11/18/11: Stillwater Public Library, which coordinates OK Virtual Library, has announced that six additional municipal libraries will “go live” with e-book and audio book downloads on November 28. Those libraries are in Ada, Alva, Durant, Marlow, Pryor and Vinita. So that brings the total to 22 municipal libraries with the service.)
If you don’t see your local library listed, check with the staff and see if they are planning the service in the future. With so many e-readers under the tree this year, it’s only a matter of time before you can “check-out” a digital book at your library.
The New Year always makes me want to be a kinder gentler person. Well, at least until February. I’ve been reading all your B&N Nook comments, and while I believe the more critical ones are justified, I’ve decided to give them a break. Hey, a million plus ebooks were downloaded Christmas Day! And all I was doing Christmas Day was sitting around in “fat” clothes & wondering why I had eaten so much the previous evening. So B & N, you’re off the hook with me, unless at a later opportunity all downloading goes awry and I’ve paid through my credit card (information which you extorted from me to get an ebook account) and my Nook doesn’t light up with reading material.
So along with my new attitude, I’ve also decided to accept (until proven wrong) that a book, is a book, is a book, and try all different ways to read this year, from Nook Books, to AudioBooks, to the Book Book. Just last week, while engaged in a tedious computer chore I put in the audiobook of Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre and read by John Lee. First unlike with a BookBook, it is very important to have a good reader for your audiobook. John Lee does a nice job. The story is fascinating, I’m not very far along but I think this might be my way of “reading” more nonfiction, and I like spy stories, albeit this one is true.
Here’s the Audio Book Summary from Audio Book Store:
Agent Montagu tells the story as only an insider could, offering fascinating details of the difficulties involved – especially in creating a persona for a man who never was – and of his profession as a spy and the risks involved in mounting such a complex operation. Failure could have had devastating results. Success, however, brought a decided change in the course of the war.
Disclaimer: I am not affliated with the Audio Book Store, and have never purchased or used any of their products or services. The copy of Operation Mincemeat that I’m listening to came from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
So the year has begun, reading and readers continue no matter the format, I approve.