Download audio books—March 14, 2008
For me audio books are the greatest invention since the telephone. (Since we bake our own bread I can’t use the phrase “since sliced bread.”) I have read more books and a wider variety of books since the advent of that new technology than I ever dreamed possible. Last fall Hastings Public Library added Playaways, a pre-recorded audio book on a device about half the size of a deck of cards. This week we unveiled downloadable audio books -- books that can be downloaded to your MP3 player.
The digital library is available as a link from the library’s Web site www.hastings.lib.ne.us or directly at http://nebraska.lib.overdrive.com. Since it is online, access is available 24/7 and from any where that you have a computer. Frequently asked questions, a quick start guide and a list of supportable audio devices can be found on the website. Supportable devices are MP3 players that allow you to bookmark where you stop “reading,” permit encoding at 32kbps and are capable of downloading Overdrive Media files.
Using a valid library card, customers can log onto the digital library website, install free software and check out up to three titles at a time. Once checked out, the audio books can be downloaded to the person’s PC, transferred to a supported MP3 player or in some cases burned to a CD. At the end of the 14-day loan period, the audio books automatically expire and return to the collection. Sounds like shades of “Mission Impossible,”doesn’t it?
You can browse the digital library by author (creator), title, or subject. It includes many popular and classic titles, a variety of subjects and books for both children and adults. The book information tells you if it is available to put into your cart, or if it is already checked out, it allows you to place a hold. It also tells you upfront if it can be burned to a CD. You can listen to a sample before checking out, kind of like reading the information on the jacket of a book before checking it out.
The Hastings Public Library is one of a 27-member Nebraska consortium that received financial assistance from the Nebraska Library Commission for this new service.Check it out and let us know what you think about the service and or the collection.