Library online services - lots of useful free stuff

Malcolm Blackmore

Mon 20 Nov, 00:51

"Any technology, if sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic" Arthur C. Clarke.

Or something like that.

I too sub to the Economist and use the audio version a lot.

Hans Eriksson

Sun 19 Nov, 17:50

Articles in magazines available in the Libby app are not transcribed to audio. Also the Economist is not available, that one is subscriber only (which I have done since 1988). 

However the newspapers in Pressreader ARE transcribed to audio. Right click on an article and select Listen. As if it were magic...

Malcolm Blackmore

Sun 19 Nov, 17:00

I forgot to ask: do the County Library services include the audio narrated versions of such as New Scientist and The Economist (and any others)?

Malcolm Blackmore

Sun 19 Nov, 15:48

Christine - one can get Bluetooth (short range radio) transmitters and receiver that pick up the signal from your phone/tablet/com-pooter and via a standard audio jackleg connect into your "old' stereo player with good quality speakers and decent sound output. Then sink back into your chair or bed and listen to audiobooks, podcasts etc to your heart's content.

We've got three Bluetooth receiver/transmitters connected up to decent old sound systems in bedroom, sitting room and kitchen.

We've got Avantree Oasis Plus Bluetooth 'transceivers' which work very well. Recommended in reviews 2, 3 years back, check out what are the bees knees nowadays.

They make listening to stuff like audiobooks much nicer without headphones.

Christine Battersby
👍 1

Sun 19 Nov, 15:27

Agree with Hans about the excellence of online Oxfordshire library services. For library e-books I mostly use the Kobo Libra 2 e-reader which (unlike Kindle) allows library access in the uk. I find it much more comfortable for the eyes reading on the Kobo, rather than on my (tiny) phone screen. There's a physical button for page-turning which I also really like.

If buying a Kobo for library books, it's necessary to choose one with overdrive. There's a list here:

It's a bit fiddly to set up, as overdrive has been discontinued in the uk; but the Libby app mentioned by Hans is available on my android (Samsung) phone and also syncs with the Kobo. But what is rather annoying is that there are more library books available via Libby (which I search on my phone) rather than on overdrive (which I search on my Kobo). 

I mostly listen to Libby audiobooks on my phone, since on my Kobo Bluetooth-capable headphones are required. But when staying in hospital, sound-blocking headphones and audio books on the Kobo come into their own -- especially when trying to sleep in a multi-bedded and very noisy ward! These are the Kobos that can play audiobooks:

There are fewer e-books available to buy on a Kobo than on a Kindle, and the preview facilities are also less good. I often preview books on my (old) Kindle, before deciding whether I want to buy it on the Kobo.

Hans Eriksson
👍 2

Sun 19 Nov, 14:16

The Library online services has been improved a lot in the last free years.

Download the libby app or head to on the PC. Log in using your library card number and pin.

You can then for free read a lot of magazines for free. House&Garden, Country Life, The New Yorker, The Week, National Geographic, New Scientist, Time, Auto Express and another 5,000 or so.

As if that wasn't enough, you also get free Pressreader access. Which means you can read Daily Telegraph, Washington Post, Wall St Journal and many others such as leading newspapers from Canada, Australia, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Spain etc.

I use this service a lot. So much I no longer have time to read books.

Have a happy day.

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