By Eric Pottie
For this issue, I want to write about accessing library e-books. We have a wide selection of books and audio books available though our provincial e-library. You can browse the collection at Nova Scotia Public Libraries website to get a sense of what’s there.
To borrow items, you need an internet enabled device like a laptop though smart phones and tablets are the most popular ones. You also need an application on which to read the e-book. Readers who have used our electronic library may be familiar with the app Overdrive. The same company that built Overdrive streamlined some of the components to create Libby, which we are now using as well.
The first step is to download the Libby app. Then pick your library (South Shore Public Libraries, not the branch name), enter your library card number and pin (the pin should be the last four digits of the phone number you provided the library when you registered for your card) and then start searching for titles.
It works the same as a normal library where you can place a hold and you are given a return date. However, one misconception with e-books is that because it is digital, we have an unlimited amount of checkouts. Sadly, that is not the case. It works the same as the library - if you have it checked out, another person cannot read it until it’s returned or “back on the shelf”.
There are a lot of advantages to using e-books. The main one is you can have up to 12 books on your device at one time, so you won’t need to carry around all those heavy books. And you can access the library from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection.
Another strength is the accessibility features that e-books provide. You can make the font bigger so any book can become large print. You can change the font to make it more legible. There is even a font that makes it easier for people with dyslexia to read.
You can also access any e-library that you have a card for. So if you have moved from another city, you can still access that library. And the materials will go back on their own when the due date arrives. We strongly encourage you to return the material when you finish reading it so another person can have it. But you don’t have to worry about making a trip to return your material.
If you have any questions or would like a tutorial, we are having a class on e-books and Libby at the Thomas H. Raddall Library on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 10:30 a.m. Or, if you try on your own and hit a wall, feel free to come in and ask us for help.
The Thomas H. Raddall library is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays 12-4 p.m. and closed Mondays.
The Alean Freeman Library is open Wednesdays 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information about the library, you can find us on Facebook at South Shore Public Libraries, follow us on Twitter @ssplibraries or check our website at www.southshorepubliclibraries.ca. You can contact the Thomas H. Raddall branch by emailing us at email@example.com or by phone at