TODAY'S TIP - Using OverDrive to Download Audiobooks, ebooks, music and video

Do you like audiobooks? Would you like the convenience of listening on your ipod or mp3 player? OverDrive is one of the ways the Library provides access to digital content. OverDrive allows you to download audiobooks, ebooks, music and video onto your personal computer. Then you can transfer them to your portable devices, including the Sony Reader for ebooks.

To access OverDrive, go to the San Francisco Public Library homepage, sfpl.org, and click on e-Library and then e-Books, then click on OverDrive.

Here you can browse audiobooks (and music and video) by category or do a search by title, author or subject. When you find something you want, add it to your cart. If an audiobook is already checked out, you can place a digital hold, and you will be notified by email when the audiobook is available. You can choose a checkout period of 7, 14 or 21 days. At the end of the checkout period, the item will be automatically returned. No late fees! You can check out 5 OverDrive items at a time.

You'll be asked to finish the transaction by typing in your library card number and PIN number. The first time you use OverDrive, you will be prompted to download the OverDrive Media Console, a free software program that displays your audiobooks, cds and videos, and guides you through the process of transferring audiobooks from your computer to your mp3 player or ipod, or burning to cd, if that option is available. A note on burning to cd – OverDrive audiobooks are divided into parts. Each part is approximately an hour in length. To burn a 7 part audiobook, you will need 7 blank cds.

OverDrive offers children's, teen and adult audiobooks. To get an idea of the audiobooks available through OverDrive, here's a list of the most downloaded audiobooks and ebooks in libraries through February 1, 2010. Check it out today!

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!