Free digital downloads from ‘library without walls’ from October 5
17 September 2009
Books on your iPod or MP3 player any time of day or night – that’s the promise to library customers as Christchurch City Libraries launches Overdrive - a new digital media service from October 5.
Manager Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says the new service gives customers the option to use the library in a traditional way without having to physically visit a branch.
“It’s a library without walls,” Ms Robertson says.
“Apart from that there is little difference in the way you use the service – the audiobooks are checked out on your library account and will ‘expire’ after the designated borrowing time”. Built-in software means customers don’t have to worry about returning items or incurring fines. The software to download the items to personal audio players is free, and has Mac and PC versions. Many titles can be copied to disc for personal use.
The service is entirely free to library members.
“The audio books are great for joggers, athletes, people on the go, travellers and those with little time to sit down and go through a book,” Ms Robertson says.
“People learning a language will also find these titles invaluable.”
Video and other digital content downloads are being considered as future offerings, Ms Robertson says.
More than 350 best-selling and classic titles will form the initial collection, which customers access through free software on the library website and their library card.
More titles will become available as the service becomes more popular, catering for adults, young adults and children.
Items can be borrowed for seven or 14 days, Ms Robertson says.
Overdrive is a subscription-based audio book download service that the Christchurch City Libraries will offer for free to its members. Library membership allows for download (once download software has been installed from the Libraries website) and burning or saving to devices for use ‘on the go’. The service has support for Mac and PC and downloading for most of the brands of MP3 players, including iPod, Zune and Sony Reader.
Overdrive’s most downloaded audio book in August, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife will be on offer from October 5, as will be other popular fiction like Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Death and the Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh and titles by authors such as Meg Cabot, Ann Brashares, John Grisham, Austen and Shakespeare. Initial non-fiction offerings include Dr Blair's Chinese in No Time and Japanese in No Time, social commentary like Stupid White Men by Michael Moore and access to a belly laugh with Fawlty Towers or Little Britain.