Audio Book Rentals Through the Library

Heather says:

I may be the last to know about online audio book rentals through the library.

It’s a parenting sin to admit this, but I hate, loathe, despise, and dread taking my children to the library. Well, not my stepdaughter, but in this scenario she doesn’t count, being above the age of reason and all. The kids are 6, 4, and just turned 3. If going to the library could have a 1:1 adult child ratio, sure it might be a pleasant excursion. Instead it’s a giant headache. I know there are plenty of you out there with more and younger kids and who enjoy library trips; I’m sorry, I just can’t join that club.

Yesterday, as we were leaving the library, with an armload of books, and as I was trying to prevent children from darting into the community room, bathrooms, and out into the parking lot, a sign caught my eye. It announced that audio books were available for free online rental. I got excited, loaded the kids in the car, and raced home so I could check it out.

So, what’s the point of this post? Not everyone has time to read -you will make time for my book when it’s out in March, right?- OK, but what does that have to do with home economics? Audio books are an excellent distraction during the repetitive and mind numbing chores that make up a good portion of responsible living. I hate mowing and weeding, but both are bearable if I can keep my mind from focusing on how much I hate what I’m doing. The same goes for picking apart a chicken, mopping, chopping vegetables, exercising. The list goes on my friends.

I’m curious, is there a centralized list somewhere that shows what libraries participate in programs like the Jasmine Digital Library? Does your library have such a program? Would you take a moment and log onto your library’s web page and see if they offer this service? If so, would you be so kind as to mention the library system you use to help raise awareness?

I’ve done a brief search and it looks as though the digital library used by the Berkeley County Library System (that’s mine) uses different names depending on location. I also see Library Connection in Connecticut and eNYPL for New York.

I know not everyone has a smart phone, but you can still download audio books to your PC or Mac and ebooks to the Nook or Sony Reader, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be compatible with the Kindle.

I want to shout, “FOR FREE!”, but then my internal realist kicks in and says, “No, Heather this is paid for by your tax dollars.” I’m perfectly fine with that. I hated borrowing books on CD from the library, it just meant more potential for damage fines or late fees.

Oh and if you’re curious, I’m starting off with And Then There’s This by Bill Wasik it’s about viral culture, because I’m nerdy like that. Don’t worry there seems to be plenty of fiction available, but I already have a stack on my nightstand.



24 Comments

  1. Karianna on January 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Hi, know this was posted awhile, but I thought I'd add…
    Pierce and King County libraries (in Washington State) use both Overdrive and NetLibrary. I believe most of the county libraries and a few of the private libraries do too.

  2. […] couple of weeks ago, I was reading Heather’s Home-Ec 101 blog, and she talked about “borrowing” digital books from the […]

  3. Courtney on September 6, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I didn’t know about this….it’s so cool!

    In Henderson, NV (Las Vegas) it’s Overdrive and Netlibrary. This is going to be awesome for late work nights.

  4. amikim on September 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Chesterfield County (Virginia) – and Henrico County (both suburbs of Richmond) both offer digital audio books. Looks like it's through Overdrive as well.

  5. Misty on September 3, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I've been a fan of audio books for quite some time. Great in the car! I use them now to listen to as I clean, craft, and commute the kids. Much better than annoying DJs on the radio, the same songs on the MP3 and insensate TV noise.

  6. @noorachen on September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for mentioning this, Heather! I'm a librarian in Charleston County next door to you, and we offer downloadable audio through MyiLibrary: http://charlestoncl.myilibraryaudio.com/

  7. Toy Lady on September 3, 2010 at 8:32 am

    The Monroe County (New York ) Library System also offers digital lending:
    http://overdrive.libraryweb.org/AA724884-A1A1-4AC

    Thanks for the reminder, Heather – I've been meaning to check on that for a while now!

  8. KellyH on September 3, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Oh wow, I had no idea that my library did this, until you brought it up! The Topeka & Shawnee County Library uses Overdrive, and apparently many others in Kansas do as well. It looks like they have quite a bit of music available for download, too. 🙂

  9. Louise on September 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

    If you go to the Overdrive sight, it will have a page where you can search for the libraries that have their digital service. They have them in the US and Canada.

    I discovered this last summer when I was given an electronic reader and didn't want to pop money online for the books I wanted to read. It's been a huge reacquaintance with the library for me. We live in a rural community with the nearest library being about 20 miles away. Now I read more than I have in years and I never get a late fee.

  10. asyhre on September 2, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    We have it here in Watertown, SD… you have to go into the library and set up the log in though. It is NetLibrary, I have never used it, but I think I may.

    I usually try escaping to the library the days husband has off. I just tell the kids that I will bring them home books and movies if they stay home.

  11. casey on September 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Personally I've never been a big fan of audio books, although I used to listen to Books on Tapewhen driving back & forth from NJ to Ohio in college. I started hating them when i got a job at Borders – they're big and bulky and hard to scan and it's way to easy for someone to slide the CD out and leave the case, or return one that's 'missing' a CD.

    I love my e-reader (Kindle) which was my christmas pressent from 'santa' last year. I wanted new floors or a new refrigerator but hey you take what you can get. I know originally Kindle had an 'audio' book feature, but it was removed from later versions becasue of 'copyright' issues (not the right word but something like that). Authors or whomever 'reads' the book to you gets some kind of residuals, and apparently Kindle's thing just read the book in an electronic voice which bypassed the money to the author/reader/whomever. And I have a Kindle because at the time only it and Sony Readers were availalb,e and the Sony Reader can't download books overseas. Or it couldn't then, not sure abut now.

    • HeatherSolos on September 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      The service also has electronic publications, for those that prefer a text version, but it seems as though at least some of them are not compatible with Kindle.
      What I really like about the digital audio format is there's nothing for me to lose or damage.

  12. librarianj on September 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I'm a librarian for Arlington, TX and we use both NetLibrary and Overdrive. They are both wonderful services! You could buy one book for full price at Barnes and Noble or spend a whole year using the library for the same price! I think it's wonderful. I love listening to audiobooks and since I do purchasing for our Youth titles on Overdrive, I often get to fulfill patron requests, which is half the fun! Right now our popular download is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 🙂

  13. casey on September 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Houston Public Library does!
    http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/index.php

    They've got a whole ton of stuff on their digital page, I'll have to check it out when I have more time.

  14. Annie Bakaleinikoff on September 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I live in far northern California (we laugh at people who call San Francisco northern California), and it is pretty redneck up here, but our library is definitely in the digital age!
    Shasta Public Libraries uses Overdrive.

  15. Erica Mueller on September 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    1. I didn’t know my library had a website.
    2. I didn’t know one could listen to audio books from a library site.
    3. There is no way in heck I would have guessed my library has such a service!!!!

    WE DO!! Our library in Northeast Texas uses NetLibrary.

  16. CarolinaDreamz on September 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks. Now, can you please fit this into my daily schedule? 🙂 I haven't tried audio books for a couple different reasons.. one being I get bored if I'm not holding a book and following along and two because my phone doesn't help me. I did buy a larger micro sd card for it. I can't tell you where it is, right now, though. *sigh*

  17. banba1 on September 2, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Boston Public Library isn't explicitly "Jasmine", but it's powered by the same engine ("OverDrive"): http://overdrive.bpl.org/38D37ABF-30A1-4FFE-997A-

    Cool stuff — thanks for getting me to check it out!

    • HeatherSolos on September 2, 2010 at 11:18 am

      I think the Jasmine name will apply only to libraries in the state of SC. Our state flower is yellow jasmine (or jessamine) so it makes sense that way, too.

  18. Tinkerschnitzel on September 2, 2010 at 10:16 am

    A regular customer of the Fort Worth Public Library here. They do offer digital books online, a couple of which I have downloaded and listened to at work while doing monotonous things like folding newsletters. I don't recommend listening to Dante's Inferno unless you want to fall asleep at your desk.

  19. ThatBobbieGirl on September 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

    GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
    I am not making this up — last night, I thought about how I should blog about audio books and how much of a blessing they have been to our family. Now, I'd just look like I was copying, so….nvrmnd.

    We have never lived close to family, so long road trips started immediately after we got married. That was our first reason for trying out audio books. The first book we listened to was Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot" and it made the trip seem much shorter than it was. Of course, those were on cassettes. I was sad to see that our library recently got rid of all the cassette tape audio books (mostly because I found out AFTER and didn't get to buy any) but they have a goodly number of them on CD. I know our library system also has the downloadable audio books, but I don't know nuthin' 'bout doing that stuff yet. If I ever get an ipod or the like, I'll get my whiz-kid to show me how.

  20. tastelikecrazy on September 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I'm glad to see public libraries are staying relevant. While I still prefer the feel and smell of a book in my hands, my Captivate does a bang-up job of being an eReader – and it's a heck of a lot easier to carry twenty books in your phone than in your diaper bag. 😉

  21. Maggie on September 2, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Wake County Public Libraries in North Carolina offer digital media via their website! http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/about/digital

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