Did you know library offers patrons a multitude of free electronic resources consisting of e-books, e-audio books, e-videos, e-music titles and credible databases that you can access via the web 24/7/365?
All you need is a library card to access and/or check e-materials and log into e-databases.
And before I go any further let me just say that the cliff notes/basic bottom line of this posting is that you can access e-books, videos, audio books and music albums through the Digital Catalog found on the library’s website. And if you have any questions about how to access any of the content on our website and/or download it to any of your tech devices please feel free to visit the library and speak with a member of our tech team – or even make an appointment to sit down with a member of our tech team and go over any tech usage questions you have step-by-step– it is a free service we offer! Just call: 607-936-3713 ext. 502 – which is the Reference Desk extension – and ask to speak to Linda or Jenn to make an appointment.
And if you’d like an in-depth explanation of the e-formats the library offers and how you can access them – please read on!
The first thing you need to begin the process of checking out e-formats is a library card. And to obtain a library card you simply come to the library during our usual hours of operation and present a form of ID that features both your name and your current address. There is a very short form to fill out as well and presto! You’ll have a library card which will literally unlock worlds for you – worlds of imagination and worlds of information and just plain worlds of fun too!
So of course, once you have a library card, the next question is:
How do you check out free library e-books, e-audio books, e-videos, e-music titles and how do you access the free databases in the library’s online collection?
And before I answer that duo question I have to add an illuminating little tidbit of information regarding e-books, e-audio books, e-videos and e-music titles. The e-book revolution and the move to accessing information and media content online has happened so quickly that it is causing major upheaval in the publishing and media world. And as a result of the major upheaval, publishers and media companies want to put what they call “friction*” in the process that patrons have to use to check out free library e-books, e-audio books, e-videos and e-music titles (albums). And the publisher/media company requirement of “friction” is why there are so many different ways to download e-library content and why it is frequently a cumbersome process. And added to that fact is another huge fact – not all publishing companies and media companies will sell their e-content to public libraries – and that is why you don’t see some of the best-selling e-books, e-audio books, e-videos and e-music titles on the shelves of our virtual library.
And getting back to the question of how one checks out these e-formats – the answer to that questions can be more easily relayed if we look separately at each of the five categories our virtual library e-books, e-audio books, e-videos, e-music titles and the library collection of free credible databases.
And notably, all the category items, except the databases, can be accessed via the STLS Digital Catalog (aka Virtual Library) link found on the library’s homepage. The fifth category – the databases – can be accessed by clicking on the Research link found on the library’s home page (and then clicking on the Subscription Resources link that displays).
And without further ado on to the five categories:
E-Books: You can check out and read library e-books on a PC, Mac, e-ink e-reader (those are the ones that feature black text on a light gray screen), a reading tablet* (Kindle Fire, Nook Color, Nook Tablet or Nook HD) or a tablet (iPad, iPad Mini, Google Nexus 7/10, Galaxy Tab etc.)
And if you have questions about how to check out free library e-book – call or stop by the library and a member of our tech team will assist you!
E-Audio Books: There are two types of e-audio books found in the catalog – MP3 audio books and WMA audio books. The MP3 audio books can be checked out and listened to via PCs, Macs, and via apps downloaded to smartphones & tablets. And WMA files – well, the WMA stands for “Windows Media Player” and thus you have to download the WMA audios to a PC and then transfer them to supported portable device like an iPad, iPod or other MP3 player.
And if you have questions about how to check out free library e-audio books – call or stop by the library and a member of our tech team will be glad to answer any questions you have about the process and/or walk you through it!
E-Videos: E-videos are the easiest format in the Digital Catalog to discuss because, basically, you can download e-videos to a PC and that is all* You do have to download software first – it is called OverDrive Media Console and it can be accessed via the library’s website.
And you know I’m going to repeat myself here and say if you have questions about how to check out free library e-videos – please call or stop by the library and a member of our tech team will assist you!
You can even make an appointment with a member of our tech team and we’ll walk you through the process from beginning to end!
E-Music Titles: E-music titles can be checked out to a PC and a variety of MP3 players including players made by Sony, Samsung, ScanDisk, Colby and Creative Zen (but not any version of the iPhone, iPod or iPad…)
Ditto the cheerleader like refrain: if you have questions about how to check out free library e-music albums–please call or stop by the library and a member of our tech team will assist you!
And if you’d like to check and see if any of your devices can play any or all of the e-formats mentioned in this blog post check out Resources page on the OverDrive website.
Here’s the link:
Free (To Library Patrons) & Credible Databases: You can also access a number of free (to library patrons) databases through the library’s website. These databases include: Academic One File (for students of all ages doing research), The Business & Company Directory (a great db to use if you want to know where a company is located, who the CEO is and other general information regarding the business/company), The Chilton Library (for those that like to fix their own cars!), EBSCO Animals (for kids looking for information on animals), the Health Reference Center (to research health subjects), The Literature Resource Center (for researching authors, books and literary works in general), the New York State Newspapers database (to search for articles that have appeared in New York State Newspapers) and more! Check it out! Simply go to our website: SSCLIBRARY.ORG, click on the Research link at the top of the page and then click on the Subscription Services link that displays – the listing of our databases will display. And once you click on a database you’d like to try out – you’ll be prompted to log in with the number on the back of your library card.
And if you really read all that – you deserve a gold star!
Have a great weekend everyone!
And remember our free e-services will be accessible the last week of the month, November 25 – December 2, when the library itself will be closed so the interior ceiling tiles can be replaced.
*The term “Reading Tablet” as we use it refers to e-reading tablets that are not quite fully fledged tablets – the offer many of the same features as a full sized tablet but may or may not have a camera and they do not have access to all the apps in the Apple or Android app stores.
*Friction: The term “friction” in this case means that the publishers and media companies want to make the process of checking out e-formats from your public library more difficult because they think this will cut down on digital piracy.
*Digital Catalog: the Term “Digital Catalog” is fancy tech terminology that simply means the place you go to browse through the e-book titles, search for specific e-book titles and then check them out so you can read them!
*E-Videos: There are a few exceptions to the rule that e-videos can only be downloaded to a Windows PC but they are so few I’m not sure it is even worth mention them. OverDrive states on their Supported Devices page that if you own an MP3 player that supports DRM and WMA protected content (i.e. the anti-piracy software that publishers and media companies insist be built into e-books, e-audios and e-videos) than you can download e-videos to that device and take them with you. However, the list OverDrive has of portable devices that support DRM and WMA is very short and consists of several of the Creative Zen and Sony series of MP3 players…