Top 3 trends in public libraries today

There’s always so much to think about in public libraries today, but if I could consider the top three trends, I would say:

1. Collaboration is huge. We are busy meeting the public’s information needs in different, more dynamic, more effective ways now, and it’s all about collaboration. Ask yourself, what does the fire department and the library have in common? Then decide: both are involved in public awareness of fire prevention. Then decide together on a booth, a display, a night where the fire chief comes and speaks at the library, on safety in the home, or whatever else may come into play. People can have fun with this one, it can be sort of like solving a riddle. Better yet, use your long range plan to decide with whom to collaborate (first choice, actually).

2. We are retooling our library spaces to be much more customer oriented. We enjoy style, adequate space for people to meet or work or just relax, ample lighting, views of the outdoors, maybe even something to nibble on while we’re there. Though I only have a couple of grievances with Melvil Dewey, he is now old school in favor of bisac (bookstore model) cataloging.

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Kindle and OverDrive

People have been asking for instructions on using a kindle to check out eBooks from their public library through OverDrive, courtesy of Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library.  Well, here you go.


  1. Visit your Utah public library’s website and click on the link to Overdrive. Or, go to and click on OverDrive.
  2. Check out a Kindle book (library card required).
  3. Click on “Get for Kindle.” You will then be directed to to redeem your public library loan. You may be required to login to your account — or create a new account — if you’re not already logged in.
  4. Choose to read the book on your Kindle device, free reading app, or Kindle Cloud Reader.

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OverDrive and the rest of the modern world as we know it

Here I am. Using OverDrive with my new iPod which I got fairly recently. There are other sources of ebook and audiobooks as well such as NetLibrary (free from your public library in Utah), Google Books (older classics free, $ for newer titles), Kobo (free, $),  Audible ($) , iTunes (some free, most $), Project Gutenberg (free, mostly ebooks), the list goes on. Right now I’m transferring War and Peace to my iPod hoping for the latter not the former.

There’s gotta be some way to get organized. I’m seeking nirvana: combining an iPad with a knockout interface where everything comes at me in one place, put into categories like shelves in a bookcase.

Something to dream of, plan for, investigate.

iPod audiobooks for free through Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library

I’m so excited! I got a new iPod the other day and it’s pretty sweet if I must say so myself. I wanted to listen to a book while doing other stuff, so I went to Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library and jumped on the Overdrive link. I logged in and found a book I’ve been hankering to read for some time: Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder.

It would have cost:

$8.89 on Kindle

$21.00 on

$23.95 on iTunes

But I got it for free, compliments of Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library, which is partnered by Utah State Library and the Public Libraries in Utah. That’s why a person in any part of Utah can go to Pioneer, compliments of their local public library, and get downloadable audiobooks and ebooks at no cost to them.

It was painless to use, easier than ever before due to recent changes in the Overdrive platform. Utah State Library will be having training soon on how to use this service. Check our website to register.

Overdrive & Project Gutenberg e-books

Did you hear the news?

Boston Public Library, Overdrive’s partner, now has 15,000 Project Gutenberg e-books in their Overdrive collection. They are accessed through the Overdrive platform, have no checkout or check in, but are also counted in their stats. The advantage is one-stop shopping. Overdrive says it will be available to all of us in the future. Read more about it in the Library Journal article.

Anyone can go to the Project Gutenberg site and get the titles for free now, of course.  There are over 33,000 e-books in the total collection. They are things that the copyright has expired on, so a classic book is in this case a classic example (sorry).

Here’s how to download from their collection to your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

1. Go to the iBookstore and download the Stanza (free) or the QuickReader ($). follow the instructions below and enjoy your book.

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