Take the Library on your vacation

Packing for vacations can be tough, but the Rochester Hills Public Library can make it easier for you by loaning you electronic materials. Load up your eReader with good summer reads. Refresh your digital music collection via the library and keep up with new magazines, all electronically. If you run out of reading or listening materials all you need is a Wi-Fi connection to restock your devices. The Library’s eBranch (www.ebranch.rhpl.org) provides thousands of books, songs and magazines and anyone with a RHPL library card can legally download materials.

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The Library has been loaning eBooks for several years and provides them via a couple of different sources. Unfortunately there isn’t a single source that covers all publishers so depending upon which book you want to read you may use OverDrive or the 3M Cloud service. “The whole e-book environment is in flux, but we try and go with the flow to provide our customers with the widest choice of free eBooks as possible, said library director Christine Lind Hage. “At this point Kindle books are only available via OverDrive, but Kindle Fire users can also use the 3M Cloud.” Another nice feature about eBooks is that you don’t have to make a trip to the library to check them out or to return them. They can be downloaded online and are removed from your device when your loan period ends. You do not accrue overdue fines just because you are out of town!

Earlier this year the Library introduced Zinio Digital Magazines which gives library users access to over 200 popular digital magazines on home computers, tablets or mobile devices. These magazines can easily be viewed on any Internet-enabled device inside or outside of the library. Zinio’s unique technology digitally recreates a magazine page for page, including full color pictures, easy navigation, and interactive elements such as audio and video. Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, O, The Oprah Magazine and Reader’s Digest are just a few of the popular titles available. Zinio is different from other virtual library experiences such as downloadable book borrowing that allows the user to “borrow” the book. After a few days, the virtual book vanishes as it is “returned” to the library. With Zinio, you get to keep the magazine!

Music is available by using the program “Freegal,” which combines the words free and legal. Card holders now have the ability to download three songs per week — absolutely free — from a database which features over 10,000 music labels from 65 countries. Freegal has a similar setup to downloading music off one of the already commonly used sites such as iTunes or Amazon … except the music is always free. In one way, Feegal is like Zinio. When a song is downloaded, there isn’t a time limit; users get the song for good.

To download any of these items, visit www.ebranch.rhpl.org  and click on the tab that covers the media you are interested in accessing (eBooks, eAudiobooks, music or research materials). Instructions for downloading any of these resources are available on the website and there are FAQs for individual devices. “If you need more personal help, stop by the library and a librarian will be happy to train you on how to do it”, said adult services manager Rebekah Craft.

So when you are packing for vacation, you don’t have to take up valuable luggage space with reading materials. Just grab your eReader, tablet or smart phone and login to the RHPL eBranch. There are thousands of free items available for your reading and listening pleasure.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and three blocks east of Main Street.  The Library is open from 9:00 a.m. to  9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to  6:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.  The Library’s website (www.rhpl.org) has information on how to register for a card and access all the Library’s services.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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