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Kelli Keyes

Keyes

With winter weather hitting us hard this month, what can one do to stay comfortable and cozy this January? Let the library help you! We have amazing technology nowadays that allows you to check out books from the comfort of your own home. While sitting in the recliner with your feet to the fireplace, you can download e-books or e-audio books on your smartphones, laptops, or tablets. As a working mom, I need to multitask. My favorite way is to download an e-audio book on my smartphone, put the phone in my pocket and listen to a story while I fold laundry and run up and down the stairs putting it all away. I can even listen while I do dishes and exercise. It makes the mundane tasks enjoyable.

How does one download books to a device? It’s not too hard, and if you are tech savvy it’s a piece of cake! All you need is your library card number. Columbus Public Library has four different apps or websites that you can check out e-books and e-audios from. The neat thing about having four different sites to use, is that if you can’t find the book you are looking for, on say Overdrive, you can search the CloudLibrary for that title and maybe find it there. The four sites are the CloudLibrary, Freading, Overdrive, and RB Digital Books. From my own experience using these sites, I’ve learned which app is best suited for the title I’m looking for. If I want to check out and download a classic, Freading would be my first choice. If I’m looking for a nonfiction book, the CloudLibrary has an extensive selection from which to choose. I’ve found that RB Digital will have more of the Christian fiction audio books that might be missing from other sites. Overdrive is our main e-book and e-audio app and you can find so much on that site as well.

I like to listen to series in order if possible and I find out what order those series are in by Googling Fantastic Fiction. On this website, I get a small bio and picture of the author then a list of all the books they have written in series order. I can click on each book to get an idea of what the book is about and if I would be interested. Another neat thing about this website is that if I really like a certain author but I’ve read all their books, I can go to the bottom of their page and see what other authors that author recommends. Also listed at the bottom of each page are names of similar authors. Once I know what order I want to read the books in, I go to my library app and search for the book.

Say that I’ve decided to listen to the Alaskan Quest series by Tracie Peterson. The first book in that series is titled, “Summer of the Midnight Sun”. I go to Overdrive and, using the advanced search, narrow my selections to MP3 audio book in the format box. Then I go to subjects and narrow that to Christian fiction. I find that they only have the book in the e-book format and not as an audio. I then search my RB Digital app and find the e-audio book there.

What if you want to download an e-book and you see that it is already checked out? You can place a hold or search the other three sites to see if you can get it through them earlier. Or if you are fifty-third in line for a hold, definitely check the other sites to see if the same title would be available in a shorter time.

Have fun browsing our e-book and e-audio selections on the different sites. If you need any help, you can call us at 402-564-7116 or you can bring in your device and we will help you with it. If you need more involved help, you can book a librarian or attend our Tech Tuesday nights. Be amazed with the capabilities of technology and enjoy a good book from home on these cold winter days!

Kelli Keyes is the customer service manager of Columbus Public Library.

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