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Librarian in Residence: a library in your back pocket

By Jessica Green on September 5, 2013


Recently, we held the “Imagine” campaign here at OPL looking for input about the future of the library. I was surprised to discover one of the more controversial aspects of what we do to be e-books. Some patrons wanted more e-books, others didn’t ever want to see any e-books being lent through the public library, and more than a few didn’t even realise that we have thousands of titles available to be borrowed for free.

OPL currently has a combination of audiobooks and e-books in either .pdf or .epub format available to be borrowed. These can be found on the e-books and audiobooks portion of the website, and are also found mixed in the catalogue with the regular books. Much like regular books at the library, you can request titles. You can borrow e-books on a variety of platforms (Android tablets and phones, Iphones/pods/pads, Kobos, Sony e readers…) except on Kindles which use a different file format. You can find out how to set up the device of your choice on this page (scroll down for instructions). And if you need extra help, just come into your local branch, and any of the info staff on the floor can assist.

For those who are curious, Overdrive is the OPL content provider for the ebooks and audiobooks, as the company is the largest global distributor of digital content to libraries and schools. There is some hope for a made in Canada approach to e-book lending at some point in the future, but as the article points out, publishers are reluctant to allow libraries to lend out digital book formats. I’ve also heard hopes for a database of French e-books on the OPL website, but French publishers are even more reluctant than English publishers to embrace the new digital world, so I think that’s down the road as well.

Five reasons why e-books from the library are great:

  • No late fees! Once the three weeks has run out, the book disappears from your reader!
  • You no longer have to worry about forgetting your library books behind while you travel (or perhaps losing them…). Also e-readers are much lighter than dragging along a few Tom Clancys or Stephen Kings in your luggage
  • With over 10,000 titles, and more being added all the time, I am sure you’ll find something to capture your imagination. We even have titles geared for children and teens.
  • Think of the money you save by going through the library instead of buying these files yourself.


My three quick nonfiction picks I’ve recently read: