Sunday, November 1, 2009

Resource Spotlight: Overdrive downloadable audiobooks

Recently, an unexpected eye ailment caused me to miss a day of work. Generally, if I am not feeling well, I might spend the day on the couch catching up on my favorite television shows on DVD. However, previously mentioned eye ailment did not allow this type of activity to help pass the time until my afternoon eye appointment (p.s. it is very hard to get an eye appointment on a fall day when kids are out of school). Reading my much anticipated celebrity biography was also pretty much out of the question. I was certain I was doomed to a day of complete boredom. Luckily, I realized Arlington Public Library offers downloadable audiobooks! First, I downloaded the Overdrive media console to my computer. That was pretty easy. The hardest part was selecting which book I wanted. I ended up with Middlesex, a book that I have been meaning to read because I have seen it on so many of my friends' bookshelves (it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction!). I easily added it to my cart and checked it out with my library barcode number. I had a little bit of trouble downloading my title to the console. It turns out that I needed an update to my Windows media player, but Overdrive gave me directions on how to get that update directly from the console (if you have problems downloading titles, check out the guided tour). After that, I was able to download the entire book at once and play it right from my console. I think this weekend I am going to transfer the title to an MP3 player so I can listen to it while I run errands. Few selected titles (signified with a CD and a flame) allow you to burn the book to a CD. This is great for me, because I mostly listen to audiobooks in my car. With this option, I don't have to worry about skipping and such from overuse (unfortunately, many of my favorite titles also the favorites of others...those disks can get warn out fast). Another great thing about downloadable audiobooks is that you don't physically check in an item- your loan will just expire. This means you can't forget to turn in a material, so you can't get a fine! So a potentially lame day was rescued by this awesome resource provided by my library. Now I'm hooked on downloadable audiobooks!


Douglas said...

Hi there - I want an ebook reader that works with the library. this ebook article mentions Sony Reader works well with the library. Is that true? Are there other ebook readers that also work with the library for downloading? Thanks.

MJ said...

Douglas, there is a list of tested devices for netlibrary at

If they work on netlibrary they should also work on overdrive, but like the article says, make sure you know what type of files you can use before you buy a product.