Everything you need to know about borrowing eBooks from the library, community centers…and even malls!
How absolutely amazing are eBooks, mama?
Instead of lugging around heavy pages (or, as is a particular problem here in humid Singapore, watching them disintegrate on the bookshelf), now you can fit a full library right on your phone!
For a while this was still a pricey proposition since we still had to buy the eBooks for our Kindles/tablets/phones, but now, libraries have figured out how to harness the technology and It. Is. A. Gamechanger! (Although unfortunately the Singapore library’s catalogue isn’t compatible with Kindles. At least not yet. But phones and tablets are all good!)
In the past year alone, the National Library Board (NLB) has seen a whopping 69.2% increase in eBook and audiobook loans through its awesome eReads programme – 1.55 million ebooks and audiobooks were loaned out in 2017. Any guess what the top eBook title of 2017 was?* The NLB also launched a dedicated Kids’ eReading Room in October 2017; more than 7,600 eBooks and audiobooks have already been borrowed.
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How cool is it that you can download eBooks right from home? Not to mention downloaded books are automatically returned/deleted from your advice once the 21-day loan period expires, meaning you never have to worry about overdue fines. Sweet!
Here’s all you need to do to get started with eReads:
1) Sign up for a library membership if you don’t already have one
Click here for all membership categories, which differ for Singaporeans, PRs, and foreign residents. Note that foreigners must register in person at a library branch; Singaporeans and PRs can register online here.
2) Create an Adobe ID
This will allow you to download protected books for offline reading.
3) Install the OverDrive Media Console on your device(s). This is what will allow you to download and read the books.
After this you should be good to go! To make things even easier, though, we suggest also downloading the NLB Mobile App, which will let you access the library’s catalogue and borrow books right on your phone.
If you’ve got more questions about the eReads borrowing process, mama, check out the NLB’s handy help guide here!
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Just last week the NLB launched a new initiative to make its books even more accessible with a pilot “mini digital library” at Ulu Pandan Community Club. Citizens can browse and borrow eBooks and audiobooks from the NLB’s digital collection of over 150,000 titles, and access eNewspapers and periodicals.
The NLB is looking to extend the pilot project to other community clubs in the year ahead, while also bringing the mini digital library concept to other public places like hospitals, learning institutions, and malls. The first in-mall digital library service is set to launch at the new mall Century Square, which is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2018.
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All of these cool initiatives are geared toward further encouraging a love of reading, while also catering to the public’s demonstrated demand for eBooks. We love that the NLB has paid special attention to kids in this regard with the dedicated Kids’ eReading Room, which is also available on the OverDrive mobile app and website, and features kid-friendly categories like “All about animals”, “Read around the world”, and even “Books made into movies”. If your little reader has an insatiable appetite for books (every mama’s dream problem!), turn them loose on the NLB’s digital collection of 7,600 kid-friendly titles!
For more info check out www.nlb.gov.sg!
*The NLB’s top eBook title for 2017 was Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air.