MAMARONECK, N.Y. Ray Fiorentino learned how to get free e-books using his iPad at the Mamaroneck Library, which held a series of tutorials on digital literacy throughout the week.
Fiorentino, a Mamaroneck resident, used to spend $10 to $12 for a downloadable e-book through iTunes, that is until Robert Caluori, IT Manager for the Westchester Library System (WLS), showed him and other interested patrons how to get many of them for free.
"Now I don't have to spend $10 to $12 for a book," said Fiorentino, who successfully used his iPad to download his first e-book through the library. "It's a good resource."
Caluori's tutorial, titled "How to Get Free E-Books at Your Library," introduced 10 to 15 patrons to Overdrive, a free software that is linked to your library card and allows you to download media, including e-books and audiobooks, on a computer or mobile device.
Patrons using mobile devices can also download the Overdrive app, which will show you what titles you have on hold or have already downloaded and allow you to play it.
All 32 libraries in the Westchester Library System use this software to make titles digitally available to patrons. While not all publishers make its newer titles available on Overdrive, the software mimics the library experience by offering a user-friendly catalogue of titles online.
Like regular books, digital titles can only be lent to one patron at a time for a fixed amount of time - libraries may own multiple licenses for one title. At the end of the loan period, they are automatically removed. Those titles that aren't available can be reserved like a physical book. Instead of picking it up at the library, you would login to Overdrive and download it.
To download an e-book or audiobook, patrons will be asked to enter their library card and PIN, as well as an email address as a place to hold a title. The first time you use Overdrive, you will need to create an Adobe ID account.
Supportable devices include PC Windows, Mac, Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Sony Reader and NOOK. The Amazon Kindle was added to the list Sept. 21 last year. When searching for titles on Overdrive, you will see how many copies your library owns and if any are available.
Like Fiorentino, Alice Bloom has an iPad, and during Caluori's tutorial, was able to download the Overdrive app, which she plans to use going forward.
"I thought it was very informative and helpful for people who haven't used Overdrive," said Bloom, a lawyer and host of "A Town and a Village Two" on LMC-TV.
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