Mother Nature skirted around us again, but it’s not likely to be the last time Northern Virginia braces for a storm this winter. While the thought of a snow day draws up some of that old childish excitement, for many parents, it also means a battle. A battle that occurs inside, where the heat is cranked up, and the outside elements are kept at bay.
Playing in the snow is fun, but the novelty wears off quickly, with the remainder of the day stretching out endlessly. What to do with a house full of kids looking for something new and different? Even a trip to the library seems out of the question, as the roads are still treacherous, and the thought of bundling up little bodies against the cold, unbundling inside the library, then rebundling for the trip home invokes feelings of pure exhaustion before even leaving the house.
But what if the library came directly to you?
For many of us, it now can. Thanks to OverDrive, a global eBook and audiobook distributor, many libraries now deliver digital copies of books to your very own computer, iPod, or phone.
How does it work?
Begin at the OverDrive website to search for a participating library near you. In Northern Virginia, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, and Loudon County systems all offer titles for download.
Once you select the library of your choice, a valid library card is necessary to proceed. Search available titles, and place selected titles in your “cart.” As many as 10 titles can be checked out at a given time. Title currently not available? Place a hold and be notified when your turn arrives.
Upon checking out, the selected titles download to your device. That’s it! You never have to leave home. The title will remain available to you for the amount of time specified (7, 14, or 21 days), and will then “disappear” without any further action. No need to worry about overdue charges.
As with all other public library lending services, this service is FREE.
Not just for snow days
While convenient ideal for those cold-weather days, eBooks and audiobooks have multiple advantages year-round. In particular, reluctant or struggling readers can benefit from listening to audiobooks. An Alexandria mom says, “My older son uses them to listen to his school Literature/English books. He does much better when he listens to the books instead of reading them. My younger son uses it for pleasure reading. He has dyslexia so reading is difficult for him. His comprehension level is so much higher than his fluency, so ebooks allow him to “get” books that are of interest to him and on his comprehension level.”
Other uses? Play children’s stories in the car while driving, or in the background instead of the television. In the car without the kids? Download a title for yourself, and enjoy some “me time” while running those errands.
Regardless of your personal use, the collaboration between OverDrive and public libraries is another example of ways the local library is reaching out to service the community. Take advantage of this resource.
And if you DO have to leave the house? Stay warm. There’s still several months till spring.
Disclosure: OverDrive has in no way compensated me for this article. The opinions are my own. I merely wish to share a resource with my readers.