New service expands availability of digital books

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Combine the words free and reading and you end up with Freading, a new electronic book service available at the Morinville Community Library. The new website, offered through the library and sponsored this year by the provincial government, offers downloadable books like the library’s existing Overdrive electronic book service.

“We’re excited about this because more and more people are using e-readers and downloading books,” said Library Manager Isabelle Cramp. “It’s a very convenient form of always having a book handy when you’re going around or travelling. For us to be able to offer the Freading on top of Overdrive is a great resource.”

Cramp said the new system has no wait times for patrons as is the case with Overdrive. “With Freading the books are always available for instant download,” Cramp said, noting Overdrive requires patrons to go on a waiting list if the book is already on loan.

To use the system, readers must have a library card to use as a login and password to the site. Cramp said each week patrons are given four electronic tokens to use to download books. Download values vary in the number of tokens needed to borrow the digital book. “When your tokens are gone then you wait until the next week to receive more tokens,” she said. “If you don’t use your tokens, they will accumulate up to a certain amount.”

To access Freading one merely goes to to click on the Freading icon. This will take patrons to a special Northern Lights Library Services version of the Freading site, allowing patrons to search for and then download books to their e-readers.

Cramp said Freading does not offer the latest best sellers, but it does have some interesting titles and authors. “There’s a lot of Christian fiction for those who like the genre. There’s mysteries, sci fi, fantasy; there’s a lot of non-fiction, cook books, kid’s books,” she said. “There’s really something for everyone.”

For those who have the Overdrive application for their tablet computers, Cramp said Freading has an option to download your Freading title directly to the Overdrive app. The books can also be downloaded to other readers. For more information contact the Morinville Community Library at 780-939-3292.

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