My latest at ProfHacker: Accessing Your Local Library with Libby and Flipster

Several years ago, I was part of a focus group on our campus. One of the questions posed to us was, “How often do you use the library?” I had to ask for clarification: was the question about how often I made use of the library’s resources, or how often I actually entered the building? In my case, I used the resources far more often than I entered the building (and that’s still true).

The same is no doubt true for many of us in relation to our local public libraries. The ability to check out digital materials is incredibly convenient.

In this post, I want to call attention to two mobile applications that I’ve found helpful in accessing and managing digital library materials.

The first is Libby. It’s from Overdrive, and for me, at least, it’s a major improvement over Overdrive’s earlier app, which for some reason I could never quite wrap my head around. The interface is pleasant and user-friendly, and it’s easy to send a book to your e-reader, if you prefer to do your reading there rather than on a phone or tablet. Managing holds and keeping tabs on what you currently have checked out is simple and intuitive. The app also supports multiple accounts, so if you have access to more than one library, you can easily switch among their collections.

The other app, Flipster, is from EBSCO, and it does for magazines what Libby does for books — but without the ability to send materials you’ve checked out to another device. While I don’t find the interface as pleasant as Libby’s, it gets the job done. Like Libby, it supports multiple accounts.

Both Libby and Flipster are available for iOS and Android; Libby is also available for Windows.

What’s your preferred way to access digital materials from your library? Let us know in the comments.

[CC-licensed Flickr image by the San Francisco Public Library]

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Leave a Reply