Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Borrowing e-books and online videos from London Public library using OverDrive

I have always heard or read about OverDrive and the public library lending e-books. Well I decided to actually test it. So I borrowed my first e-book. Actually, I did it by accident. I actually searched for a book on the catalogue and discovered another by accident that was an e-book. Hence I decided to try accessing it.

I accessed the ebook through the library's website. All I needed was my library card identification number to verify that I am an authorised user of the library.

It was like downloading a movie from one of those free movie sites, that you have to subscribe to. Just that with the library you need not give out any more personal information, just the library card  identification number. After entering it, I was directed to a place where I could view other books available or search for others. However, I used the one that I had found in the online catalogue. I was confused when it took me to a page with information about the book. I clicked on the image, but it just showed me the image. So I went back and looked carefully at the remaining options.

I saw the options for adding to my wish list or check out. Apparently, they have built library jargon and means of operating in the physical world into the online environment. So I clicked on check out, and came up on an error page that said that I did not have any item in my cart.

I persevered despite the confusion until eventually I clicked on my digital account and then eventually on the My 'Bookshelf' link. There I saw the book that I had 'checked' out. So I clicked on it. This lead me to a download page that indicated system requirements for download and a link to download the software to be able to view the book.

Another complicated process, but I just went ahead and downloaded the software for my computer system and then after running the software installation, came back to the page and downloaded the e-book as a file to be read by that software.

With that I was able to view my first public library borrowed e-book.

I also borrowed an online video: Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock
Similar process, however, this time the software was video software and the file was also a video file.

The video though was more like a slideshow of images of a printed book with someone reading the story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the story. I am therefore very delighted that being in London, Ontario has enabled me to get the opportunity to test out actual library services that I have only read about in the library literature.