I was following up on this post from Reading Is My Escape From Reality, which was reblogged from Leah's Bookish Obsession, and discovered that the Houston Public Library's e-card is free to all Texas residents, sponsored by the local grocery store chain HEB. Took me 5 minutes to sign up with my drivers license number, and now I have access to all their audiobooks on Overdrive! Wooooohoooooo!
Seriously, HEB, when are you coming to North Texas so I can show you some love?
Thanks to Lillelara, I've found the new library app (Libby) that seems to be a vast improvement over the Overdrive app. I spent last night playing with it, as a distraction from watching the Rangers lose yet again.
It works like Overdrive, in that it syncs with your library Overdrive account and allows you to download the books you've checked out. There are some enhancements on the audiobook functions, and a vast improvement on the ebook functions.
I've never been successful with the ebooks on Overdrive, as they seem to get lost when I try to download them, so I can neither read them nor return them until my checkout expires. I've only been able to do ebooks from Overdrive by sending them to my Kindle app. But I tried checking out, downloading, reading, and returning several ebooks on Libby last night, and they all worked just fine.
It's also more seamlessly integrated with the Overdrive library, which makes browsing for books much, much easier. It automatically syncs your checkouts and holds with the Overdrive library website, too.
My "wishlist" of almost 200 ebooks and audiobooks that I've carefully compiled and synced with my larger TBR list, using the Overdrive website, does not sync with Libby. It instead uses a "tag" system, which is completely separate, and is less than useful as you cannot see the book's availability when browsing your tags list. So, for example, if I want to check something out right now and start reading it right away, I can go to my wishlist on the OD website, and filter by "available", and browse through books that are already on my TBR list and are immediately available for checkout. This isn't possible on the Libby app. But, I can still do it from the OD website, check it out there, then open the Libby app to immediately download and listen/read.
It's still not perfect, but it's a huge improvement over the current Overdrive app. I might even start reading some ebooks, which is a good thing since so many of the books on my TBR are only available from my library in that format.
I think public libraries don't get enough love, so I decided that I will make a point of visiting the public library in every town I happen to pass through. Since I don't travel a lot, that means mostly libraries in North and Central Texas. I was in Frisco last weekend for a salon appointment and had time to stop over at the library. My apologies for the quality of the photos, I just have an old iphone for a camera. I didn't take many pictures of the children or teen areas, since I didn't want to look like a creeper.
Library – Frisco TX
This is a modern full-service library, warm and inviting. It’s set as part of the city services building complex and arranged on three narrow floors stacked on top of each other. Each floor has a separate entrance from within the city building. It has occupied this current building since 2006. Before that, the city leased an old house on main street, run by a part time librarian and volunteers. The city library only dates back to 1990, which reflects the city’s history. It was a small rural community until the DFW suburban growth spilled over its borders and it became the fastest growing city in the US from 2000-2009, growing from a population of about 6000 in 1990 to about 117,000 in 2010.
The entire main street/city services complex is a good reflection of the city. It’s a modern developers’ wet dream: a mixed use complex with faux-historical properties and lots of green space, walking space, and living space, as well as restaurants, a movie theater, shops, etc. But I saw very few people walking anywhere except to and from their vehicles, even though it was a gorgeous day out.
The library was well used, even for a Saturday afternoon. Patrons everywhere were sitting in cushy chairs, reading, as well as students sitting at tables and desks with homework out. There were banks of public access computers on every floor, with about a third in use. It was quiet and well-lit with natural light from tall windows and warm artificial light in the darker corners. I loved the lighting on the bookshelves. It was well staffed with librarians who were friendly and welcoming.
I usually visit the public library on Saturdays. I turn in anything I have checked out and finished, and I check out new things. I don't always read everything in the time allotted, so I often renew books. In my local public library, new items get a two-week (14 days) check out period. Older and regular items get four weeks. I tend to prefer items on the four weeks cycle to give myself more time to read them, but one in a while a 14 days item catches my eye, and I decide to read it right away rather than wait til it falls out of the "new" cycle.
For fun this year, I am going to try and put up my public library finds up. I may not do it every single time, but when I can, we'll have something here. It is easy to do here since once I enter the books into the shelf, linking the book covers to a post is easy. There is no need to worry about taking photos or such as I would have to do on my main blog. Anyhow, anyone else want to join on the fun, please feel free to do so and share. I am always interested in what other people read.
Graphic novels are a big thing for me to read, so I got three this week. The Hickman and the Lob books are new to the library, so I will be getting to those sooner. The Wolverine volume I can wait a bit.
My local public library keeps the staging area (where they put books that have been recently returned and waiting to be reshelved) near where the new books are kept. I often do check for books to read in that area, and that is where I found the Bad Girl Art book. I love finding books by serendipity.
Finally, the Jenkins book and the readers' advisory books were in the 000s Dewey call number area. That is where libraries keep books on librarianship as well as books about books and reading. This area also covers generalities, which is why you find some trivia type of books here as well. The trivia one I checked out because I enjoy that sort of thing. The RA one I checked out to help me keep up with my profession. Yes, I am a librarian. I work for the local college's library, and I am still a supporter and user of my local public library too. We do not do as much readers' advisory in an academic setting, but it is an area of librarianship I enjoy. I did take coursework and training in it in library school, and being an avid reader, I do strive to keep up. Thus I checked out the book on readers' advisory for horror.
As I read them, I will be reviewing them here, so stay tuned.
Finally, on an accuracy note. I got the data on a couple of these out of Amazon. When possible I try other options, but sometimes Amazon is the only one with the book data. However, as others have pointed out, Amazon is not always accurate. That happened here. The cover for the Wolverine volume used here is NOT the one of the book I have. The cover Amazon is using is from one of the comic issues that the volume compiles. To be honest, I wish the guys here at BookLikes would figure out a way to integrate book searching to WorldCat (the OCLC catalog). Most of the time it would mean better, more accurate date, plus, it would help you find the books in a library near you.