New York Public Library - not just books

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John F
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New York Public Library - not just books

Post by John F » Fri May 16, 2014 10:12 am

Since I've been working there as a volunteer, I've learned a few things that CMG bibliophiles may find useful.

Nearly everyone can get a New York Public Library card. Residents of New York State (not just NYC) have full privileges; those elsewhere have more restricted access but still some.

A library card can be applied for online here:

http://www.nypl.org/help/library-card

To get the card you need to go to any branch of NYPL, give them the 7-digit number provided in the confirmation, and show officially issued photo ID with your name and address on it, like a driver's license. If your ID doesn't show your address, any other documentation will do, such as a letter or magazine addressed to you. The library card bar code and PIN are your key to borrowing circulating materials, including eBooks, audiobooks, audio, and video over the Internet.

NYPL has some 880,000 ebooks that it can lend. I don't know how many audiobooks but there are plenty. EBooks can be read not just on e-readers like the Kindle and Nook but on most personal computers and mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.) using free software such as Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac. Audiobooks require OverDrive Media Console, also downloadable for free.

I got into this because there were some books I wanted to read but they weren't circulating so I couldn't take them home. Seeing that eBook versions were available, I bought a Kindle Paperbook from amazon.com, and now I have several NYPL eBooks that I can read when and where I please. The borrowing period is 1-3 weeks - the user makes that choice. In a couple of cases when there were no printed or eBook versions available, I found an audiobook version in the NYPL catalog and downloaded it - listening to a book isn't as good as reading it, but better than nothing.

And it's all free!

Anybody wants more info about all this, just ask. I got loads of it.
John Francis

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by jbuck919 » Fri May 16, 2014 10:26 pm

Can I get the card the next time I come into the city and then, from here, "borrow" the e-books?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by John F » Sat May 17, 2014 2:47 am

You certainly can! And not just eBooks. I've also downloaded an audiobook of a title the library didn't have in any other form, and as I type this, I'm listening to the Bizet symphony played by the Royal Philharmonic conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, which I just "borrowed" by downloading with my NYPL library card. Next I'll download one of their videos, which include all kinds of things from documentaries and instructional videos to classic and not-so-classic movies.

You'll need some free software to read eBooks on your computer (or other device such as a tablet or smartphone). No need to buy an e-reader like the Kindle. I've researched all that for a poop sheet for the Performing Arts Library volunteers and will provide specifics when you or anyone else is ready for them.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by lennygoran » Sat May 17, 2014 5:33 am

John F wrote:
Nearly everyone can get a New York Public Library card. Residents of New York State (not just NYC) have full privileges; those elsewhere have more restricted access but still some.
I went to the site and it seems there's nothing about people living in other states? Sue was a teacher in NYC for 31 years but I don't know if that would help. Also what would be a way to get a free ebook reader? Regards, Len

John F
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by John F » Sat May 17, 2014 7:56 am

lennygoran wrote:
John F wrote:
Nearly everyone can get a New York Public Library card. Residents of New York State (not just NYC) have full privileges; those elsewhere have more restricted access but still some.
I went to the site and it seems there's nothing about people living in other states? Sue was a teacher in NYC for 31 years but I don't know if that would help. Also what would be a way to get a free ebook reader?
If you're talking about a Kindle or Nook that you carry around, I don't know of any way. But both amazon.com and barnes & noble provide free software you can install on your computer or other device so you can read ebooks there. Both companies not only sell ebooks in their own formats, they also offer quite a few freebies. Other materials such as audiobooks call for different software, also free.

Current residents of NY State, not just NY City, can get a NYPL library card with full privileges; it's valid for 3 years and renewable for the asking. Out of state people can also get a NYPL library card which is valid for 3 months; that's you. If the applicant doesn't provide full identification as I've described it, the card is valid for 3 days only, but if the ID is provided later, then the card is made valid for the longer term. All of these require completing an application, which you can do online, and presenting your ID, which you have to do in person at any branch of NYPL.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by lennygoran » Sat May 17, 2014 8:14 am

John F wrote: But both amazon.com and barnes & noble provide free software you can install on your computer or other device so you can read ebooks there. Both companies not only sell ebooks in their own formats, they also offer quite a few freebies. Other materials such as audiobooks call for different software, also free.

Out of state people can also get a NYPL library card which is valid for 3 months; that's you. If the applicant doesn't provide full identification as I've described it, the card is valid for 3 days only, but if the ID is provided later, then the card is made valid for the longer term. All of these require completing an application, which you can do online, and presenting your ID, which you have to do in person at any branch of NYPL.
Thanks, I want to look into both these items--now I have to think of an excuse to get into NYC for the library card id presentation--the garden season is rapidly taking over the music museum season. Regards, Len

John F
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by John F » Sat May 17, 2014 1:03 pm

If you time it right, we can meet at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by lennygoran » Sat May 17, 2014 2:39 pm

John F wrote:If you time it right, we can meet at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.
I'll definitely keep that in mind-thanks! Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by jbuck919 » Sat May 17, 2014 4:26 pm

John F wrote:You certainly can! And not just eBooks. I've also downloaded an audiobook of a title the library didn't have in any other form, and as I type this, I'm listening to the Bizet symphony played by the Royal Philharmonic conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, which I just "borrowed" by downloading with my NYPL library card. Next I'll download one of their videos, which include all kinds of things from documentaries and instructional videos to classic and not-so-classic movies.

You'll need some free software to read eBooks on your computer (or other device such as a tablet or smartphone). No need to buy an e-reader like the Kindle. I've researched all that for a poop sheet for the Performing Arts Library volunteers and will provide specifics when you or anyone else is ready for them.
Holy cow, wait till I share this with the Stony Creek Library Board! (Our president is a City person, another member is a professional orchestral horn player, both voluntary relocators who just wanted to live here for some reason, and the rest are no slouches.) I'll get back to you for that info. :D

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
Posts: 19906
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by John F » Sun May 18, 2014 5:13 am

While you're at it, you could also get a Brooklyn Public Library card - they too have loads of ebooks in their catalog, for some authors more than NYPL does. You can apply online, get the card mailed to you, then visit one of the branches to get it activated and you're in business. Or you can just visit a branch of the library and do the whole thing there, application and receipt of the card and activation.

P.S. I've just done that. Though the Brooklyn Public Library is independent of the New York Public Library, they use the same user interface and the same source for eBooks and e-materials, Overdrive. As for what's available, not only does BPL offer eBooks that aren't in the NYPL catalog, but when they offer the same titles, it seems that more of them are available for immediate download at BPL, while there can be a wait on hold at NYPL. Who'd a thunk it?
John Francis

John F
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by John F » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:41 pm

Here's another wrinkle. I've mentioned OverDrive, the eBook service that supplies the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library. Nosing around, I found on their Web site an invitation to register. Are OverDrive providing eBooks directly, and if so, what does it cost? Once I registered I got the answers: no, and nothing.

So why bother? If you have cards for more than one library in OverDrive's network, you can enter them in your OverDrive profile, and when you look for books by your favorite author, up will pop the titles available from either or both of your libraries. Or if you look up a particular book, you can choose which library to download it from - the one with the fewest people ahead of you in line, of course.

I haven't yet done this because I've still got enough downloaded eBooks to keep me occupied for a while, but I will.
John Francis

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
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Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:02 am

This is from the latest e-mail from NYPL acknowledging my application and "welcoming" me.
Before you may use your card to check out materials, use our online databases, or consult the closed stack Research collections, you must complete the registration process in person at any New York Public Library location by presenting the required identification. Additional information will be requested.
So now we're back to what you originally told us, which contradicts what their site actually says. I guess I'll have to wait until the card arrives and see if the accompanying information allows me to e-mail or fax my ID.

BTW I refrained from bringing this up with the Stony Creek board on Tuesday. Thought I'd better walk through the whole process myself, including borrowing the first e-book, before I wrote it up for anyone else.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
Posts: 19906
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: New York Public Library - not just books

Post by John F » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:43 am

The Web site ought to be corrected, oughtn't it? I'll bring it up with the IT person and see what happens.

When you validate your library card, you'll be assigned a bar code and will choose a 4-digit numerical PIN. With these you can register at the NYPL Web site - click on MyNYPL to start the process - and then you should be able to get the eBooks and other digital downloads.

Here's what you need and where to get it.

Kindle for PC:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/r ... 1000426311

This comes with a couple of public domain eBooks so you can play with it. I hadn't read "Treasure Island" for ages. To get more or "borrow" from the library, you'll need to create an account at amazon.com if you don't already have one.

Adobe Digital Editions, for eBooks not available in the Kindle format:

http://www.adobe.com/products/digital-editions.html

You need to obtain an Adobe ID to "borrow" from the library.

OverDrive Media Console for PC, for audiobooks and audio/video downloads:

http://omc.overdrive.com/windows.php

The downloads are in conventional formats, WMA and MP3, but you need OMC to unlock digital rights management and play them.

I've written a poop sheet for the information desk manual at the Performing Arts Library and can e-mail it to you if you give me your address. Might be of interest to your library board.
John Francis

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