Libraries aren’t only buildings anymore. No matter where you are, you and your family can access ebooks, audiobooks, movies and more from these apps. These services are all for free through your local library and come with the added bonus of no due dates to remember or late fines to feel guilty about. Check out what your library has to offer. Here is a small tasting of what’s out there. And if you see a service your library doesn’t have, let them know. Librarians love service suggestions!
Also known as Overdrive, Libby is an app that lets you access the ebooks and mp3 audiobooks your library or consortium owns. No matter where you are, all you need is a library card number and pin to have access to thousands of books on your phone, tablet or computer. We have used Libby for the kids when they forget required reading at school or if we find ourselves waiting at an appointment longer than we thought. With books for all ages, this app will be a sure hit for families on the go. Better yet, the books return automatically, so no late fines or lost items!
Hoopla is starting to take hold at many libraries. This app created by Midwest Tapes allows multiple people to check out movies, TV shows, music, books, and audiobooks. Popular series like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate are always available so no need to wait for the library copy. They also sponsor a movie of the month and book club reads. My favorite option at the library is to use the read -a-long books for programs to encourage print awareness while we have fun reading the story together. Pros are many: easy access, no fines or lost materials, and unlike Libby, you can access an item no matter if 30 other people also have it checked out. The library pays for each download, so it saves the library money and provides incredible access to its customers. The cons: as a new service many popular titles aren’t available, but as their popularity grows and their licensing expands, expect to see new hot titles added in the upcoming months.
Like Hoopla, this is a streaming service for movies and TV shows. You may find hard to find titles and like Hoopla and Overdrive there are no late fees or list materials. The streaming service won’t get you at the top of the list for the newest superhero movie, but you will find some film gems among its listings.
Love magazines? Hate that you can’t find or check out the newest issue at the library? Flipster has you covered. An app available on phones or tablets, it brings you magazines with the news, style, or designs you seek. All without fees or fines because it returns automatically
Libraries are not a relic of the past but maintain relevance in the community by keeping up with technology and technological trends. Show your local library some love and check out some of the digital services they provide for your community. All for FREE!
What digital library service do you love? How has it helped your family build future readers?