Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Public libraries & digital content support

Over the last few years, public libraries have gradually increased their support for e-books, audio content and magazines. Below are some services that can be accessed if supported by your local library:

  • Libby: Libby is an app developed by OverDrive that makes borrowing public library e-books easier. As public library digital content is a relatively recent development, the scope of books available is limited but should expand in the future. Kobo's early built-in OverDrive integration is another example of being ahead of Amazon. Considering the growth of digital public library content, Amazon should update its e-readers with the feature sooner or later (at the moment it is possible to send borrowed e-books to a Kindle in the U.S. only but without the user-friendly integration that Kobo provides).  
  • RBDigital: RBDigital - a platform acquired by OverDrive - doesn't contain many e-books. However, it offers a deep catalogue of audio courses and magazines. Lectures are available from The Great Courses Library collection. It is also possible to access content on a PC, tablet and smartphone (RBDigital has developed apps for iOS, Android and Fire OS).
  • Borrow Box: Another option to borrow e-books and audiobooks. Compared to OverDrive, the Borrow Box library is more limited, but it should similarly grow.
  • PressReader: Similar to RBDigital, PressReader provides access to many magazines. It also provides access to daily newspapers too. Another excellent feature of PressReader is the availability of publications in multiple languages.
The services and content available depend on local library support. For example, some London boroughs are part of one consortium that provides access to the services noted above through a local library card.

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