🔎Monday Discovery: Low-Risk Listening

Oh, the things a library card can do for you!

Choosing an audiobook can sometimes be a stressful event. Your money and audiobook credits are hard-earned. You don’t want to just throw them at any title that comes along. You want to make sure it’s the right one. Audio samples and reviews are great tools, but they can only help you so much. Deciding to finally click that “complete purchase” button takes a leap of faith.

What if I told you there was a frequently overlooked method of obtaining audiobooks that involves a very low-risk?

The answer is simpler than you think. Libraries! So many libraries are using digital content borrowing as a way to stay relevant in the 21st century. Apps like Overdrive and Hoopla are capitalizing on libraries’ willingness to digitalize their services, but what if your library doesn’t use one of those third-party services?

Chances are, your library could have its own method of getting digital content to you. Do you even know the extent of digital library services available in your own backyard? If not, I’d bet that you’re in for a great surprise!

The best place to start this exploration is by phoning your local library. I recommend telephoning instead of doing an internet search because all of the information you need may not be readily available on the library’s website.

In my experience, librarians are A+ people who are very knowledgeable and can give you valuable insights that a webpage cannot. Just this morning, my own telephone call to see when my library card expires turned into a very informative conversation with a librarian, which ultimately led to this post!

During the course of that 15-minute conversation, I discovered that I was not making the most of my library card (and that it needs to be renewed…). I have used it in the past to digitally borrow audiobooks from my library and its sister branches through Overdrive, but today I discovered that my state also has a much larger online borrowing program available to all North Carolina residents with a library card issued anywhere in the state (via One Click Digital).

I urge you to discover everything your local library has to offer and, if that isn’t enough, also try exploring surrounding area libraries. You may have to pay a non-residential fee to get a card from a library outside of your home county, but if the title selection is good enough, it should be well worth it. Also ask a librarian (or someone in the know) what types of digital lending programs are available at the state-level.

I welcome comments from anyone who has made use of their library’s digital services. Obviously, my experience is limited to services offered in my location, but I look forward to hearing what other states offer from you. Please share your experiences to help out fellow “audiobookworms”!

If I can gather enough information about programs in various areas, I will be able to make a reference list for everyone. ♣︎

Let me know what you think!