I know we’re all going crazy with the prospect of “staying at home” for the next several weeks. I am here to tell you that even if you are home, you can travel the world by checking out E-books and audiobooks from Kitsap Regional Library.
What follows are two videos on how to tap into the massive amount of books available to you from the comfort of your cozy little home.
How do I get a library card if I don’t have one?
Now that I have a library card, how do I access E-content?
🎧📚To learn more about why I love audiobooks, go take a look at one of my blog posts from a few years ago: Have you tried audiobooks?
I am not sure how I stumbled upon this phenomenal app called Epic!, but I am glad that I did. Epic! is an app (available for iOS or Android) that gives you instant access to over 15,00 books. Good books. Not the ones that your child doesn’t want to read. It is designed to be used in a classroom setting or at home with your own children.
Epic! is free for verified educators and $4.99/mo. for parents. Parents can even try it out free for 60 days by using the promo code: “EPICREADS” at www.getepic.com/promo
Aside from INSTANT access to ebooks, audiobooks, articles, short educational videos and ‘read it to me’ books, my kids and I really like the the variety of content available. Epic! also keeps track of what my kids are reading, how long they have read for, and the number of ‘pages flipped.’ I can even view and print their reading log by week, month or year. My kids stay motivated, partly because they know I am checking their profiles, but also because they can earn badges.
Kai is ten and going into the fifth grade. She likes that you can put in your age and multiple interests and it will help you find things that you are interested in. She says, “if nothing stands out you can just go to the ‘popular’ category and browse through what other people like.”
For educators, Epic! is completely free. After setting up a teacher profile, you can add up to 36 student accounts to keep track of student progress. The website also offers .pdf flyers to send home to families to explain the app. Students are able to read at school and then pick right up where they left off on a device at home. It’s seamless! Like in a parent account, Epic! enables teachers to view and print reading logs.
As an educator, my favorite thing about Epic! is that it gives students that struggle with reading a positive way to interact with books – by listening to them. Listening to books not only helps students build vocabulary and fluency but it also offers students opportunities to engage in reading material that may be above their reading level but is not above their interest level.
I am always looking for ways to maximize my time by doing several things at once. If you’re like me you may find that in our technology-rich world it is hard to find time to sit down and read a good book as often as we’d like. What’s the solution?
I discovered audio-books about 13 years ago when I was commuting from the north side of Los Angeles to my school librarian job way down south in Long Beach USD. Things have changed over the years, but not as dramatically as you might think. If you can work your car stereo and your cell phone then you’re halfway there!
Personally, I use a few methods to listen to audio-books.
1. Books on CD from the public library. (best for long car rides)
When searching in the Kitsap Regional Library Catalog (www.krl.org), do a typical search for whatever it is that you are interested in listening to, but limit the search by choosing “audio-book” in the drop down menu next to “limit by:”
One of the fantastic things about the public library (there are so many), is that all you need to do is find what you want in the online catalog, click the “place hold” button, and KRL will pull the materials for you. They’ll even email to tell you that your things are ready. Fabulous, right?
2. Digital audio-books from the public library.
Search as in #1, but choose “audio e-book” OR go to the search on the KRL Overdrive website: http://krl.lib.overdrive.com/ You don’t even need to leave your couch to check out e-books with this method!
To listen to audio-books through Overdrive, you will need to download the Overdrive app to your phone or tablet device. Go to the Overdrive website to get started: Overdrive Overdrive requires an additional login that ties in with your library card.
You can also search the library collection through the app. Overdrive also gives you access to KRL’s collection of E-books (if you want to check out books to read on your phone, Kindle, iPad or other e-reader). After you check out a book through Overdrive, you will be prompted to download the book onto your device.
I like to use Overdrive to listen to audio-books through the Bluetooth connection in my car. When I turn the car off, Overdrive knows to pause the book.
Books borrowed through Overdrive can be borrowed for 21 days. After the 21 day period, they are deleted from your device.
If you have a library card from KRL, you may also obtain a card for the Seattle Public Library and/or King County Library System. All you need to do is take your KRL card to any Seattle or King County library branch with your ID and ask for a library card. I have one of each simply because it gives me access to a much greater selection of audio-books.
You can also search and put audio-books on hold. It’s true.
Audible is an app that allows you to buy audio-book titles and download them to your device. I typically buy 12 credits per year (it is cheaper this way) and cash them in slowly over time to buy books that I’d like to hear that the public library doesn’t own. This is good for newer titles especially. They have several sales per year, including many Buy One, Get One Free sales and they also have inexpensive (less than $2) kids titles. For example, I just bought a dozen or so “Who was” biographies for my older daughter. Audible is an Amazon company, so if you have a Kindle, the titles that you buy show up in your titles list on your device and then you download them from there.
Audible also offers many things in addition to books including: newspapers, magazines, radio shows and podcasts for free. I have listened to State of the Union speeches using Audible.
I started using Audible in 2002 and I still have access to all of the books that I have purchased over the years. My husband and I share the account, so he can listen to the titles that I have purchased on his mobile devices.
I would be pleased to help any of you navigate through this stuff if you’d like help getting yourself set up with some audio-books. Pop in and let me know or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org