Tech-Friendly: Check out digital e-books, audio books at your local library

Paul Gorski
Paul Gorski

By Paul Gorski

I wrote about summer reading programs at local libraries in my “Meet John Doe: Sign up for ‘Paws to Read’ summer reading programs at local libraries” in the June 4 edition (, but I neglected to mention local library digital e-book and audio services. I correct that error here.

Local libraries have, for many years, offered audio books, first on tape, later CD, and now as digital audio files. With the rise of digital e-book readers, local libraries jumped on the e-book bandwagon with a variety of e-book services, depending on your library. Some e-books are read online; some are read on your iPad or Android device.

The Rockford Public Library (RPL) offers e-books and audio books via the Overdrive service. Quoting RPL at

OverDrive is a downloadable audio and digital book service available to all RPL cardholders. Just click here to download bestselling e-books and other digital content. All you need to do is install the free reader software and then use your library card number to access all your favorite titles. You can listen on any Windows computing device, transfer to a portable device or burn onto a CD. Titles automatically expire, so there are no last-minute trips to the library or late fees. Plus, you can listen from the convenience of home, work or anywhere you take your portable device. Using your library card is easier than ever at RPL!”

RPL also offers e-books for young readers through the TumbleBook Junior service, and I quote: “TumbleBookCloud Junior is an online collection of e-books and read-along chapter books, non-fiction books, graphic novels, educational videos, and audio books! This database is a great option for adventurous young readers who wish to read beyond the picture book collection in the TumbleBookLibrary. It is designed specifically for kids in grades three to six.” The TumbleBook library link is:

The Cherry Valley Public Library offers e-books and audio books in a variety of formats: MyMediaMall, OneClickDigital, AudioFile and EBSCO eBook Collection. Depending on the service used, you may transfer the e-book or audio book to your Kindle, iPod, or other e-book or audio playing device. The EBSCO service does not require a dedicated player: you read the books online with your Internet browser. More information about these services may be found at

Some libraries offer digital versions of popular magazines. The North Suburban Library District (NSLD) offers free access to 50 popular digital titles through the Zinio emagzine service. Magazines available through Zinio include: Car & Driver, Country Living, Rolling Stone and Forbes. Learn more about the NSLD Zinio service at

Whether it be books or magazines, enjoy reading this summer!

Paul Gorski ( has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple Iie.

Posted June 10, 2014

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