Wednesday, April 11, 2012

National Library Week

Happy National Library Week, everyone! As you know I'm a huge fan of libraries (The Book Thief volume came from my local branch) so this week is kind of special for me. To commemorate it I'd like to share some interesting information about three digital libraries you may not have heard of or haven't used:

You know how if you have a Kindle you can borrow ebooks from your local library? Well, Kindle users aren't the only lucky ones - any other e-reader that can read documents in ePub format has the same capability. Many libraries nowadays offer ebooks and audio books to their patrons through their websites, but a lot of patrons don't know about this service and therefore don't use it. In fact, a quick poll of some friends and colleagues revealed that I was the only person who knew that this service existed, so on an off chance that you don't know about it either I'd like to talk to you about it. The way libraries make digital content available is through a platform called Overdrive (you can visit their website here) and the number of books they offer grows every day. My library website has 660 fiction titles and 110 nonfiction titles, and many are new and very popular. The lending period is usually 1 or 2 weeks, and all you need is a free piece of software that gets installed on your computer and within minutes you're good to go. So if you have an eReader and like free books (who doesn't, right?) visit you library's website and see what they have in terms of downloadables.

ICDL Books for Children - International Children's Digital Library. The largest collection of its kind, the ICDL spans the globe with thousands of children's books from 60 countries, in a wide assortment of beautiful languages with captivating illustrations. Visit the ICDL website at and stop by the iTunes store to download the free app here.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is a free program administered by the Library of Congress that produces and distributes books in accessible formats -- notably digital audio and braille -- to persons with print disabilities. The NLS collection has over 400,000 titles. Each year, its 113 regional and sub-regional libraries circulate about 30 million books to nearly one million disabled readers. For more information and to find a library visit

And to wrap up, a quote:
No possession can surpass, or even equal, a good library to the lover of books. Here are treasured up for his daily use and delectation, riches which increase by being consumed, and pleasure which never cloy.
~ John Alfred Langford


  1. I used to borrow ebooks from the library when I had a sony reader but unfortunately here in the UK you can't do it with a kindle, which is a shame. I am a big library user though, I can't imagine life without it!

  2. I love that our libraries work with Overdrive to offer us ebooks for free. Love my nook, love free books, love to support the library system. Triple win!