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    Check Out eBooks From Home with Overdrive

    by Christy V. Temple

    Okay, so right now with the Coronavirus/Covid-19 circulating around the country we need to be vigilant about staying safe and dutifully washing our hands. This also means that many businesses, schools, restaurants, libraries, etc. are shutting down. However, even though many public libraries are closed around the state and the country at this time, it doesn’t mean that our public still doesn’t have access to our services. In fact, thank goodness for the digital age, because here at the Daviess County Public Library we have all kinds of digital databases that you can use from the comfort and safety of your own home and never have to leave to read a book, listen to an audio, stream a movie, etc.

    One of our most popular digital services and the one we have used the longest here is OverDrive, also known as Kentucky Libraries Unbound. OverDrive gives our patrons access to hundreds, if not thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, etc. on the site that you can check out for free at home anywhere you have a wireless connection or have the availability of a data plan on your digital device.

    First and foremost, you need to have a library card in order to access any of our digital databases. Once you have a library card with DCPL, then the next step is to download the OverDrive app on to your digital device whether it may be an iPad, iPhone, Kindle, etc. Here is a link to getting started with OverDrive and all the different types of devices that can be used with this service.

    Now that you have the OverDrive app downloaded on to your device then you will go into it and set up an account by choosing the Country, State, City and then you will choose Kentucky Libraries Unbound. Once you have done the initial setup, then you will actually log in to the Kentucky Libraries Unbound service by selecting your library, Daviess County Public Library, and then by typing in your 14-digit library barcode off the back of your library card.

    The great part about using the OverDrive app on your device is that once you do the initial setup you don’t need to do it again. You will just tap the app and it will take you to a screen that says: Add a Title Kentucky Libraries Unbound. However, once you tap this, you will still need to do the basic sign in by selecting your library and then inputting your 14-digit library barcode number. Once you have done this then you can start searching for a variety of formats to download to your device.

    You can search for a title or author, audiobooks, ebooks, videos, and the list goes on. You can now also check out magazines, kid’s materials, and Kindle books. You can also search by more specifically by clicking on 3 lines at the top right corner of the app which brings up a long list of searching abilities. If you want to know what eBooks are available right now to check out, then you click on the Available Now link and it will take you to those items. Otherwise, you may come across items that have Hold written across the top. This means that this digital item is checked out and you will need to place a hold on it so that you can be put on the waiting list. You will then be notified by email when your turn comes up.

    Speaking of holds on digital materials and checkouts, OverDrive has recently made some improvements in this area. “On March 3, 2020, it is now possible that when a hold becomes available for you, you’ll now have the option to borrow it or have it delivered later. The “deliver later” option keeps you at the front of the wait list but passes that copy of the title to the next person in line. This feature gives you more control over your holds, so you can borrow and read titles when it’s most convenient for you,” according to the OverDrive help page. If you want to read more about this new feature, please click this link and it will take you to the article explaining this new feature.

    One of the other things we have done here at our library is extend the number of checkouts that customers can now have with digital materials due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The usual checkout limit for Kentucky Libraries Unbound was 12 items at any given time. Now, we are raising those checkouts to 15 items for this particular database.

    So, now you are ready to check out items. Once you’ve logged in and found an item you are interested in, then you will click on the word “Borrow” at the bottom of the book jacket. Next, it will bring up a pop-up window and it will ask you if you want to borrow or cancel. You can also change the number of days you want to borrow it by clicking the drop-down arrow. You can choose from 7, 14, or 21 days to checkout, depending upon how fast a reader you are. Once you have selected the amount of time you need, then click on the word “Borrow.” The next box will tell you the due date of the item and will give you a choice of: “Read now with Kindle” or “Download EPUB ebook.” If you have a Kindle, you will want to choose the read now with Kindle format. However, if you have an Apple product or something else you will need to choose the EPUB ebook format.

    Now, that the item is downloaded you will go to your Bookshelf to find it. In the top left corner of the app there are 3 lines next to the Kentucky Libraries Unbound heading. Click on those three lines and it will drop down a list of different actions. Tap on Bookshelf and the title you just downloaded will be sitting here. Click on the book jacket and now you are able to enjoy reading your digital ebook. You can bookmark your page to come back to it later, see a table of contents and an overview of the item. You can now also click back on Kentucky Libraries Unbound and search for more items to download.

    The best thing about using our digital services is that you don’t have to worry at all about overdue fines because there are none. Once the checkout time has expired the ebook will automatically go back to being in circulation again. Also, if you are a fast reader and get finished early, you can then go back to your Loans page and there is a little icon at the bottom of each item you have checked out and it says “Return.” If you click it, you will be asked, “Are you sure you want to return this title?” If so, click the return title tab and it goes off your account immediately. It’s that simple.

    So, now that you know how to download and use OverDrive/Kentucky Libraries Unbound, I hope you will try it out and see all of the wonderful items we have available to enjoy during this interesting time in our world. Stay safe and best wishes to all of our Daviess County Public Library users!


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