• By Walkertown Branch
  • Posted Sunday, April 26, 2020

Ways to Be Cool, Digitally

If you, like me, are ready to dive into some good books but find that you, like me, are trying to be socially responsible through social distancing, I have got a solution for you.

Forsyth County Public Library has a great resource in the North Carolina Digital Library. Now, you can access it from a computer using the website, but I like to read on my tablet, in my bed, with a mug of tea and a sleeping cat. (It really helps if the cat is actually sleeping, otherwise they will want attention and that is not conducive to a good reading environment.)

Image Description: tablet with book text in midground with cream color cat in foreground and grey tabby cat in background

My cats, Sally (tabby) and Cleveland (cream), plotting how to annoy me while reading since I interrupted their nap.



The easiest way to read from the comfort of your phone or tablet is to use the Libby app. If you're unfamiliar with the Libby app, please head to your app store and download it (it's free) and follow these instructions to set it up.

Of course, if you've have been using Overdrive/Libby/the North Carolina Digital Library for years, you may be wondering why you should keep reading. Well, friend, in these times of need, Overdrive has really worked to include some features that I have wanted for years and I was all prepared to tell every patron who walked into the library about them, but I think this will be a more socially responsible way to do it.

Cool Way to Be Number One:
Be Kind, Return Ahead of Time

Now, this seems like a "yes, of course," but, dear reader, some people don't know that it's possible. Imagine this, if you will:
You've found that book you really want to read and there's a wait list. Fine, this is fine. You can wait patiently for…. six months That's such a long time!
Well, if all the people ahead of you return their books when they're done binge-reading the book in six hours, that wait time just shortened. If everyone ahead of you waits for the book to return itself, that book is just sitting there for an additional 498 hours. If you're not sure how to return books early, follow these instructions.

Cool Way to Be Number Two:
Say No if You're Not Ready

If you, like me, put a lot of items on hold thinking they would come at different times, then had them all come in at once, Overdrive has introduced a new feature. You can now defer your hold and let the next person in line have the book. You won't be sent to the end of the line, either, when that person is done with it, it'll come back to you. This is like suspending a hold, but after it's already available for you to check out.

Cool Way to Be Number Three:
Notifications, Engage

Finally, notifications support! No more logging in only to discover the book I was reading was returned on the due date because I wasn't paying attention and missed it. Now, I get a notification saying my book will be due soon and I can tap that notification to take me right to where I can renew it. (I recently contacted Libby support about my holds notification not working, they know about the problem and are working on it as of 3/30/20.) You can choose push notifications that will display on your phone, e-mail notifications that send right to your inbox, or Libby notifications that only display when you're in the Libby app.

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