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  • Writer's pictureMonique Gaddy

Easing Into E-Resources: Libby

The Hidden Resource:

You may be familiar with many of the materials that you have access to at our library, such as books, CD's, audio-books, magazines, and DVDs. But are you familiar with the array of resources that are available electronically? Do you know what an electronic resource is? For those of you who are willing to take the journey into the vast world of electronic resources, this blog series is for you.

Libby for i-phone

Probably our most commonly used e-resource is Libby for Overdrive. With the Libby app, you can use Overdrive to check out e-books and e-audio-books from our library. This app is one of my favorite to use and I use it a lot. It's been a long time since we have done a blog on Libby and I am excited to provide some updates. I use Libby primarily through my i-phone. I listen to books when I drive or I read them on my phone when I am in between chores, meetings, appointments, or before bed. I'll go over some of the features that you can use with i-phone or i-pad, but remember that Libby can be used on other devices as well. Downloading the app is easy and once you have a library card, you just pick us from the LYNX consortium library list and enter in your library card number under Caldwell Public Library. Through LYNX, you can borrow titles from 11 partner libraries.

Electronic Audio-books

Audiobooks are so great to listen to through Libby. I listen to most of my Thursday Read Book Club books through Libby as well as other fun books on my "to read" list. Currently, you are able to check out 5 materials on your library card and put 6 holds on your card. I listen to books a lot and love getting to hear stories narrated by so many different voice actors and actresses. I definitely read faster than the narrators are read, so I turn my speed to about 1.15x in order for me to make similar progress. I don't recommend turning the speed up too fast, though, otherwise it may sound more like listening to an Alvin & The Chipmunks album! The Libby app shows you some recommended readings and listenings, currently my app is showing me "Over 780 titles chosen by our librarians" as the top "Best Books of 2022" recommendations. Audiobooks show up as a headphone/earbud icon underneath the title, and it also shows you how long the book will take to listen to (on normal speed). It also shows up as more of a square icon rather than a book icon. Currently I am listening to Persuasion by Jane Austen, As You Wish, by Cary Elwes, Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King, and Khabaar, by Madushree Ghosh.

Electronic Books

I do also like to read text books on my phone sometimes, especially those kind of quick and light reads that you can get through in just a day or two. The e-books look a little different than the e-audiobooks. They don't have the headphone/earbud symbol and they don't show a time duration. When you check out a book, you can choose different text styles, sizes, and viewing formats. For instance, I have a larger text font and I like to use the "dark" lighting for my phone, usually because I read with the lights off before I fall asleep at night or I read when my husband is watching a movie or show and I don't want my bright light to interfere with the movie lighting (he watches a lot of scary or dramatic shows.) You can also add bookmarks and notes and highlight sections. I really like to use the highlight and note feature for when I read books that I am going to review during a book discussion. It also tells you what page you are on, although that can vary depending on your text style preferences. The only thing that is hard for me to do is to read from the Libby app and then transition to reading on my computer. The Libby app does not transfer to my PC so it doesn't keep track of my bookmarks and notes if I want to use another screen. I am not sure if reading on Kindle instead would sync on all my devices differently or if it would give the same syncing issues. Perhaps I will look into this in the future. If you read on Kindle, let me know in the comments if everything works on all your devices, I would love to know!

Devices, Helpful Hints, and Tutoring

If you use a different device and want helpful hints and tips for yours, you can visit the Libby website and get instructions for each device and type of book that you are checking out. If you would like some assistance in setting up the app on your device, you can schedule a tech tutor appointment with one of our library staff. If you could use some assistance with the app after installation or have more questions or some quick guidance into the downloading process, ask a staff member the next time you are in and we will be happy to assist you!

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