Saturday, March 19, 2011

TECH REVIEW: FREE OverDrive Media Console app for iPhone, iPod, Android tablets and phones

Check-out and Read FREE eBooks from your Library on your Mobile Device

One of the perks of working for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn is that I get to use the Dearborn Library for FREE.  Besides physical books, the Dearborn Library also offers eBooks for check-out.  Most of the books are in the ePUB format and use a piece of software called OverDrive with allows me to read the eBooks on my smartphone.  The check-out period is basically the same as for physical books which is great. But one of the things I did not like about checking out eBooks from the library was the hassle of downloading the eBooks to my computer first and then uploading them to my mobile device.

Well that all changed in January of this year when OverDrive (, the leading global distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and digital content to libraries and schools, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the release of their new eReader apps that enable users to download library eBooks and audiobooks directly to their devices for the first time.

The FREE Overdrive apps include a “Get Books” feature that guides you to your local library’s digital catalog and allows you to browse, check out, and download with just your mobile device. More than 13,000 public libraries, schools, colleges, and universities now offer eBook and audiobook downloads via OverDrive, including institutions in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and nine other countries.

The Dearborn Public Library is part of the Midwest Collaborative of Libraries Sciences and library card holders can use their Digital Catalog and Download Center to check out eBooks. Other local cities that are also part of this Digital Catalog and Download Center include Albion, Ann Arbor, Brandon Township, Capital Area, Chesterfield, Dearborn, Fremont, Grand Ledge Area, Groose Pointe, Hastings, Herrick, Howell, Kalamazoo, Kent, Loutit, Orion, Plymouth, Portage, Royal Oak, Salem-South Lyon, Spring Lake, Sterling Heights, Troy, Warren and Willard.  Unfortunately, the Detroit Public Library is not part of this system, but many other metro Detroit libraries do have eBooks for check-out (click here for the list of libraries in Michigan).

OverDrive’s apps for iPhone and Android give users wireless access to their library’s ePUB eBook and MP3 audiobook catalog without a PC. With the apps, users can create bookmarks and resume from the last point read. The eBook and audiobook titles from the public library automatically expire in the app, so there is never a late fee.

I love using the new Overdrive app and it really makes checking out eBooks much easier than before.  The software allows me to sign-in to the download center using my library card and password, add eBooks to my account, and then download them straight to my smartphone. Within minutes, I am reading my library eBook.

Click here for more information and to download the FREE OverDrive Media Console app. To see if you can use OverDrive with your local library eBooks, visit


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