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Free Audiobooks, Ebooks, Movies, TV Shows, Music via Your Library on Your Device

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I've been seeing a number of ebook and audiobook deals pop up on slickdeals. Many of us forget that our libraries will loan us these items. In the past, you had to get a library card in person, check out a book or a cd and return it. It was the worst. Recently I discovered that because I live in San Antonio (Bexar county), I have three apps at my disposal to check out free audiobooks, ebooks, movies, tv shows, even music, through my phone - Libby, Hoopla and CloudLibrary. Each of these apps houses a different catalog, sometimes overlapping. Each app also has a maximum number of items you can check out per month - usually 3 to 5 each. Additionally, each app lets you download the content onto your phone for offline use. You can even put a hold on an item and once it becomes available, it will automagically check it out for you. Below, I've linked to the page of each app, how you can check if your library supports the app and what platforms each app supports. I've found hoopla to be especially useful if I want to listen to an audiobook at home because I can stream it through the Apple TV to my Sonos Playbar and group it with other rooms. I hope you find these details helpful.

https://meet.libbyapp.com
Check availability for libby (aka Overdrive) [overdrive.com]
Platforms supported:
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Kindle
https://www.hoopladigital.com
Check availability for hoopla [zeemaps.com]
Platforms supported:
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Echo Devices
  • Roku

https://www.yourcloudlibrary.com
The Cloud Library website will tell you if your library participates.
Platforms supported:
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Amazon Fire
  • Nook
  • Chrome

https://www.rbdigital.com (h/t Nalayak)
Your library will have to tell you if it participates.
Platforms supported:
  • iOS
  • Android
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Created 05-20-2018 at 07:31 PM by nanpalmero
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#2
Are the downloaded audiobooks or ebooks only available for a short-term rental period? Or, once downloaded, do you have permanent access to them?
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Quote from sk8erboy
:
Are the downloaded audiobooks or ebooks only available for a short-term rental period? Or, once downloaded, do you have permanent access to them?
About 21 days and then it returns it automatically. You can always return it early or check it out again. I find that with my commute, I'm finishing audiobooks about once a week or so.
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Last edited by nanpalmero May 20, 2018 at 07:43 PM.
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#4
Ok. I verified that my local library uses Hoopla & then registered online for my local Library Member # & PIN. After doing that, I installed the Hoopla App on my phone & tried to login using to Hoopla using my new Library Member # & PIN, but got an error: "Sorry, but our lending policy does not allow you to register for hoopla. For further issues, please contact your library."
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#5
Quote from sk8erboy
:
Ok. I verified that my local library uses Hoopla & then registered online for my local Library Member # & PIN. After doing that, I installed the Hoopla App on my phone & tried to login using to Hoopla using my new Library Member # & PIN, but got an error: "Sorry, but our lending policy does not allow you to register for hoopla. For further issues, please contact your library."
You might give your library a ring tomorrow and see what's up.
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#6
Quote from nanpalmero
:
About 21 days and then it returns it automatically. You can always return it early or check it out again. I find that with my commute, I'm finishing audiobooks about once a week or so.
The length of time is highly dependent on the library. I've used these apps with many libraries over the years and I've seen loan times from 14 days to 28 days.

If your library uses Hoopla, there's no need for holds as everything in the catalog is available instantly, but this is also why there are also stricter limits on the number of loans per month. For all the libraries I have access to currently, in the Libby (previously Overdrive) app, there is now a catalog of around 100 audiobooks always available. The catalog seems to vary slightly from library to library.

Your library might also provide access to other apps as well. There's a magazine and newspaper app I've never looked into. There's also Freegal, which allows a certain number of MP3 downloads a week that are yours to keep forever, as long as you back them up as eventually you lose the ability to download songs from their app or site. It does include access to some current popular music and is more focused on pop music than say indie.

Lastly, if your library doesn't offer a wide enough selection or doesn't offer access to these apps, there are libraries which allow you to purchase year subscriptions to their digital collections. There's one in one of the boroughs of NYC, I think Brooklyn, that reportedly holds the largest digital collection. It's on the higher end of cost for such services at something like $40 a year. The Fairfax County library system offers access for something like $25 a year and it's reportedly the second largest digital collection. It's collection is far superior to my local libraries collection which is part of consortium of a full fourth of my state. It also has a longer loan period of my local library at 21 days and usually has a shorter wait list.

I'm happy to provide more details to anyone interested.
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#7
Quote from maygin
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The length of time is highly dependent on the library. I've used these apps with many libraries over the years and I've seen loan times from 14 days to 28 days.
Agreed. As a librarian (albeit not at a public library), it is usually highly dependent on the contract that your local library (or consortium) is able to ink with the IP (intellectual property) owner.

In general, it usually ends up being about whichever level (or 'tier') of service your library (or consortium) is able to afford.

Assuming the loan periods you've seen to be the 'average' range, I'd guess that 14-day periods probably tend to be the more 'basic' packages ($), whereas the 28-day periods probably tend to be the next tier up ($$).

This is, of course, assuming a lot of things... things which may or may not actually be the case at anyone's particular library.
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#8
Quote from maygin
:
The length of time is highly dependent on the library. I've used these apps with many libraries over the years and I've seen loan times from 14 days to 28 days.

If your library uses Hoopla, there's no need for holds as everything in the catalog is available instantly, but this is also why there are also stricter limits on the number of loans per month. For all the libraries I have access to currently, in the Libby (previously Overdrive) app, there is now a catalog of around 100 audiobooks always available. The catalog seems to vary slightly from library to library.

Your library might also provide access to other apps as well. There's a magazine and newspaper app I've never looked into. There's also Freegal, which allows a certain number of MP3 downloads a week that are yours to keep forever, as long as you back them up as eventually you lose the ability to download songs from their app or site. It does include access to some current popular music and is more focused on pop music than say indie.

Lastly, if your library doesn't offer a wide enough selection or doesn't offer access to these apps, there are libraries which allow you to purchase year subscriptions to their digital collections. There's one in one of the boroughs of NYC, I think Brooklyn, that reportedly holds the largest digital collection. It's on the higher end of cost for such services at something like $40 a year. The Fairfax County library system offers access for something like $25 a year and it's reportedly the second largest digital collection. It's collection is far superior to my local libraries collection which is part of consortium of a full fourth of my state. It also has a longer loan period of my local library at 21 days and usually has a shorter wait list.

I'm happy to provide more details to anyone interested.

This ranks as one of the most helpful posts on SD, I think. I can't thank you enough for this information.
I use Overdrive, but my local library has very limited supply. I have been crying about it for years. Never knew there were any options other than that joke Audible.
I have listened to books on tape and then cd and then overdrive for the past 20 years. (3.5 hour daily commute played into this and I would have long ago gone crazy if I didn't have this).


I will gladly pay $40 for the right to listen to what I want, when I want and have it for 21 or 28 days vs 14 at my little library.


Thank you again for posting about this.
Would appreciate any additional info you have. you can PM me if you don't want to clog this thread
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#9
I too would like information on the library in NYC or the Fairfax for access through purchase. Thanks!
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If you live in a smaller town with a small local library, check the larger cities in your state to see what residency requirements they have. For instance, Los Angeles library has a huge selection of overdrive audiobooks and any Calfornia resident can get a free card. Same for the San Francisco and San Diego County libraries. Any Colorado resident can get a Denver library card. I think all of them require an in-person visit to get the card, but if you happen to be in town for a ball game or whatever, it's worth a stop to pick up a card.
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#11
OP please look at the rbdigital app (on ios - not sure about android) and add to list of apps. I have had better luck on audiobooks and magazines with this app than the ones you mentioned. This is obviously library dependent. Thanks for a great post.
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#12
Quote from Nalayak
:
OP please look at the rbdigital app (on ios - not sure about android) and add to list of apps. I have had better luck on audiobooks and magazines with this app than the ones you mentioned. This is obviously library dependent. Thanks for a great post.
Done, thank you for letting me know. Great info!
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Quote from susiedag
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I too would like information on the library in NYC or the Fairfax for access through purchase. Thanks!
Quote from Zev67
:
This ranks as one of the most helpful posts on SD, I think. I can't thank you enough for this information.
I use Overdrive, but my local library has very limited supply. I have been crying about it for years. Never knew there were any options other than that joke Audible.
I have listened to books on tape and then cd and then overdrive for the past 20 years. (3.5 hour daily commute played into this and I would have long ago gone crazy if I didn't have this).


I will gladly pay $40 for the right to listen to what I want, when I want and have it for 21 or 28 days vs 14 at my little library.


Thank you again for posting about this.
Would appreciate any additional info you have. you can PM me if you don't want to clog this thread
Fairfax County Library system [fairfaxcounty.gov]
You must show proof of meeting eligibility requirements to register as a Fairfax County borrower. If you do not reside in one of the locations listed, you may apply for a non-resident card which costs $27.00 per year. The first year fee must be paid before the card may be used and you will be billed annually for continued use. To apply, simply fill out this form [fairfaxcounty.gov] and select "Non-Resident" for the State. Then, reply back to the email confirmation you receive and request our Account Services staff update your status and create a bill. The bill may then be paid online.

Fairfax also seems to have something called RBdigital [oneclickdigital.com] and Freading [freading.com]. I don't know what they are except they appear to be additional ways to access audiobooks and/ or ebooks.

Based on my personal experience, the loan period is 21 days for Fairfax Public Library. Last I checked, this library does NOT have access to Hoopla, but since my local library does, I can't easily check whether Fairfax now does from the Hoopla site. It's not listed on the Fairfax site. I'm happy to answer any questions about this library. I currently have access to it.

Brooklyn Public Library [bklynlibrary.org]
Out-of-State Residents (non-NYS residents)
Non-NYS residents may apply for a Brooklyn Public Library membership and enjoy access to our extensive selection of Articles & Databases and eBooks. There is an annual, non-refundable $50 fee for out-of-state cardholders.
Get a Library Card (Non-NYS residents) [bklynlibrary.org]
Once your application is submitted, a representative will contact you within five (5) business days with the next steps.
We currently do not accept applications from international residents at this time.

Note for Brooklyn Public Library
There may be a workaround the $50 if you also happen to be in NYC. I haven't tried it, but here's the info that makes me think it's possible:
eCard
New York state residents who do not have a Brooklyn Public Library card and would like access to only the eBook collection may apply for an eCard. This card allows access to the Library's Overdrive, 3M, and Flipster collections.
Register for an eCard [bklynlibrary.org]
Register for an eCard and immediately receive a library barcode and PIN to begin accessing the eBook collection.
Please note that in order for your application to go through successfully, you must allow the form to track your current location. When prompted with a message such as "go.bklynlibrary.org wants to track your physical location", you must click on "allow once".

Brooklyn library appears to also have cloudLibrary. You may borrow up to 15 eBooks and eAudio from both Overdrive and cloudLibrary. You may place up to 10 holds from both Overdrive and cloudLibrary.

I do NOT have a Brooklyn library account nor have I ever, so I can't give more information than this, plus the random bit about how I was told it's the largest digital collection (but I can't verify that).

Flipster [ebsco.com]
This is the app I mentioned where you can read magazines through your library (assuming your library participates). I have NOT used this so I can't say much more than that.

In looking for the links, I came across Audiofile SYNC [audiobooksync.com].
SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. Returning April 26, 2018, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week - pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through the OverDrive app. In advance of accessing the program, download the app in advance to whichever device you anticipate listening on and be ready to go!
The website indicates it only works with Overdrive. Currently available is Saving Montgomery Sole and Being Jazz, which are available through 5/24.

That was a lot of info, so feel free to ask questions or PM me!
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#14
Quote from Nalayak
:
OP please look at the rbdigital app (on ios - not sure about android) and add to list of apps. I have had better luck on audiobooks and magazines with this app than the ones you mentioned. This is obviously library dependent. Thanks for a great post.
Thanks for this. I've spent a little time going through the app and the biggest difference I see between this and Libby/ Overdrive with the two libraries I'm a patron of is The Great Courses. The RBdigital app has 216 Great Courses audiobooks though the Fairfax county library. My local library probably had most of these, but they are all on CD. Having digital access is amazing! I'm so glad I took a chance on this app!
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#15
Thanks for the detailed information
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