“Read, Listen, Watch, Enjoy.”
Your local library can be a valuable information asset and it’s becoming even more valuable with the new free apps OverDrive and Hoopla. These apps offer unique streaming services where people can borrow, reserve, and sample various media using media devices and their library card.
These apps are changing the landscape of late fees and waiting in reserve lines. These apps let users access several different materials including audiobooks and watch programs for free with your library card. The handy search options let users know if their local library offers the service.
Overdrive (omc.overdrive.com/) gives users access to a large catalog including thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, and videos from your local library. Users listen to audiobooks (mp3 only format – no more Windows Media Audio (WMA) files) using the mobile app or on a computer. Users can play these audiobooks at different speeds ranging from a slower half speed to double speed and can transfer to a variety of devices and in many cases, burning to CD for listening on the go.
Beth Keuneke, Adult Services Coordinator the St. Marys Community Public Library (St. Marys, Ohio) likes the Overdrive app because it allows her to can download the audio version of books onto her Android device from the library’s collection and then she can take it with her where ever she goes. She can connect it into her vehicle and play the book through the speakers. She also takes her device out on the deck and listens to it there. Once she’s done with the book, she can return and delete it or if the
time is up it returns on its own with no fines…no physical book to lose either (say goodbye to library fines).
Overdrive also lets users sync across devices. For example, users can sync bookmarks and libraries across multiple Android, iOS, and Windows 8 phones and tablets. Other options include the ability to change contrast, font size, and margins. Overdrive also offers materials in several different languages and has a partnership with NOOK Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc. where users can discover, access and read a huge selection of NOOK Newsstand titles on their NOOK tablet device and on tablets, smartphones and PCs via the suite of Free NOOK Reading Apps™.
The Hoopla app (www.hoopladigital.com) also lets users borrow video, music, and audiobooks for free with their library card using PC, tablet, or phone devices. Items are also automatically returned at the end of the lending period. Hoopla also offers an extensive catalog of educational materials, children’s titles, foreign films, and other hard-to-find content not offered anywhere else.
Both of these apps offer expanded library services that are convenient, mobile, and educational because they help users learn about the streaming app technology and other web related areas. Libraries have already put consideration into the physical copies of media they offer due to the rising popularity of these apps. What do you think? Are you going to try one out?