Friday, June 1, 2012

App Review: OverDrive Media Console

Summer is upon us, and after a long year of educating the youth of America, there's nothing teachers want more than a good book and some peace and quiet. I've already helped a half dozen teachers get started with their iPads this week, and they've all been so excited when I tell them about OverDrive. If you don't know about OverDrive, I bet you'll like what it has to offer.
OverDrive is essentially a link to your local public library. It creates a portal for you to search for books and download them to your iPad for reading. Once you download the app, you'll need to add your local library through OverDrive's search feature. Press "Get Books" in the upper right corner. Then search for your favorite library. Be careful here. Once you find your library, press the star button so it will be added to your favorites. Now you're ready to find books.

When you visit your library, OverDrive will connect you to the library's website. From there, you can log in with your library card number and password. What I've found about my library's catalog is that it's a bit limited. I compare it to NetFlix's streaming content: there's a lot of content, but not a lot of current, must-have books. After you've found the book you want to read, then you choose your delivery method and the checkout period. This is where you need a secondary account link Amazon or Adobe. You can choose what format you would like to read. I prefer Kindle only because I already have an Amazon account. The format you choose will determine where the book is delivered upon download: choose Kindle and it will be in your Kindle app.

I find this next piece pretty cool, and I'm not sure why. When you have reached the end of the lending period, the book simply goes away. Not entirely, but you can't read it anymore. It's still there if you want to purchase it, of course. You can also place holds for books that are checked out. You'll receive an email when it's available and you'll have three days to download it.

Well, that's the basics of OverDrive. Happy Summer Reading!

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