DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

downloadable audiobooks

Jan 13 2014

The Library Without Books

by Hope L

I read in a recent issue of Time magazine (October 7, “Smoked Stacks”) that  “in 2002, Arizona’s Tucson-Pima Public Library system opened a branch without books, the first in the U.S. to attempt an all-digital existence.  But just a few years later, the library phased in printed materials.  Patrons demanded them.”

“I don’t think people could really envision a library without any books in it,” says Susan Husband, the Santa Rosa Branch manager.

My, how times have changed! San Antonio’s new Bexar County Digital Library is now touted as the nation’s only all-digital public library.

“The $2.4 million, 4,000-sq.-ft. space, also known as BiblioTech, opened September 14 and has been likened to an orange-hued Apple Store.  Stocked with 10,000 e-books, 500 e-readers, 48 computers and 20 iPads and laptops, the digital library includes a children’s area, community rooms and a Starbucksesque cafe to encourage collaboration among patrons in an inviting space.  And it will have zero print materials.”

Go ahead, call me old-fashioned—I just don’t  like the idea of a library without books.

According to the Time article, “The library is no longer the place where you walk in and the thing you pay the most attention to is the book collection,” says American Library Association President Maureen Sullivan. “It’s now a place where you’re immediately attuned to the variety of ways that people are making use of that space.”

Yikes!  Libraries with0ut books?  That’s like Superman without his cape,  a lemonade stand without anything to drink, a gym without weights, or politics without scandals.

It just won’t be the same. Luckily, DCPL still has both physical and non-physical books. If you’re after non-physical books, you can download some through the library’s free OverDrive eBooks and downloadable audiobooks service.

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Feb 7 2011

To E(book) or not to E(book)

by Patricia D

Kindle.  Nook.  Literati.  Something produced by Apple.   Someone you know got an eBook reader for Christmas.  If that someone had the same sales person as my sister-in-law, they were told the public library has electronic books to download onto said eBook reader (with the exception of the Kindle, because we all know only Amazon purchased content can be viewed on a Kindle.)   Sad fact:  DCPL currently does not have electronic books to be loaded onto any eBook reader currently on the market.  We would love to have them, primarily because our mission is to provide the materials and information our patrons want.  Also, some of us got eBook readers for Christmas too and for me, paying for a book is a verrrrrry hard idea to get my head around.  However, Economic Reality is most certainly Coyote Ugly these days and adding another dimension to DCPL’s collections is something we can plan but not implement.

We can offer, thanks in large part to the generous support of the Friends of the Dunwoody Library, a very nice downloadable audiobook collection, which can be played on computers, MP3 players and in some instances, iPods, though at the moment I have yet to figure out how to manage that technological feat (for more technical help with downloadable audiobooks, please see this post).  These downloadable audiobooks can be accessed from either our OverDrive page or from the catalog, where they are being added as quickly as we can catalog them.  I find it amusing that we’re cataloging something we can’t actually hold—it’s a little like trying to catalog Daniel Tiger’s (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood  character) imaginary best friend, which was part of the cataloging final in graduate school.  Keep an eye out for the “downloadable audiobook” format as you search the catalog and please know, as soon as we are able, that there will be listings for “electronic books” as well.

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I am always looking for a way to occupy my time during my long daily commute.  I used to check out audiobooks from the Library but have recently migrated to using the Library’s downloadable audiobook service, OverDrive. I love that I can “check out” an audiobook even when the Library is closed. It can be a little tricky at first especially when trying to use it with an Apple product. To begin using the service, first check out the Library’s OverDrive Page. Both the Quick Start Guide and Guided Tour can help you get started downloading and transfering audiobook files fast.  Here are ten tips that I have found helpful:

10.  You will need your DeKalb County library card number and PIN.

9. Make sure you download the Overdrive Media Console. (This is OverDrive’s software.)

8.  If transferring to an Apple device, make sure you have the most current version of iTunes loaded onto your computer.  In addition, iTunes needs to be set to enable “Manually Manage Music” setting.  See here for further instructions.

7. If using a Windows computer, make sure you have version 9 or higher of Windows Media player.  Also, make sure you have installed the Windows Media Player Security Upgrade by going into OverDrive Media Console, clicking on “Tools”, then clicking on “Windows Media Player Security Upgrade”.

6. You can browse titles by categories (listed on the left under “Fiction” and “Nonfiction”) or you can use the search box on the top right corner if you are looking for something specific.  An easy way to search for available titles is to click “Advance Search” (top right, inside of the orange search box) and make sure “Only show titles with copies available” is checked.  You can leave the other spaces blank, if you just wish to browse.

5. Each downloadable audiobook has different technical and license restrictions, so when looking at an audiobook, pay attention to the “Plays On” icons.  These icons tell you what computers and devices the audiobook will and will not work on based on whether or not they are lit up.  One tricky situation: if the icons indicate iPod-compatibility but not Mac-compatibility, then the only way you can transfer it to your iPod is through a PC.

4. During the check out process, you will be asked to choose a lending period, either 7, 14, or 21 days.  You can only have 2 downloadable audiobooks checked out at any one time, and you may not “return” a book earlier than your selected lending period, so choose carefully.

3. After checking out your audiobook, click on “Download”.  This should automatically open up OverDrive Media Console.  You can then choose how many parts (if not all) you wish to download.   If you wish to play, transfer, or download more parts of the same audiobook within the same lending period, you need only open up Overdrive Media Console and go from there. You would not have to go through the OverDrive website again within the same lending period unless you are checking out a new title.

2. To transfer the audiobook file(s) to a device make sure that you click the transfer button in Overdrive Media Console.

1. The digital file will stay on your computer or digital device even though you might not be able to listen to it past your lending period. You can delete the file the same way you do any other file you have on your computer or device.

Still needing some help with our new audiobook service? Representatives from OverDrive will be at the Dunwoody Library on October 28 with their Digital Bookmobile for you to get some hands on experience with the experts.  Full details here.

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