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Downloading free audiobooks from your local library

Checking out and downloading audiobooks from your local library is pretty cool. I've been listening to audiobooks for years, and was thrilled to find that I could check them out from my library from the convenience of my home computer.

Here in the Phoenix area, I use The Greater Phoenix Digital Library. Your local library should have a web site like this. If you are familiar with the process of downloading files and applications, this is a breeze. If you have no computer experience at all, I can't recommend doing this. The key to making all of this work is to accept their little downloadable software program, called OverDrive. Like I say, if you aren't comfortable with this, this process may not be for you. If you are, follow the links and download Overdrive. It works great.

Once you have that program on your computer, check out the audiobooks normally, just like a regular ebook from your library. When you check out the audiobook and download it, it opens in Overdrive. Like a regular library book or DVD, you have two weeks to use it. While you have it checked out, no one else can check it out. After two weeks, the file expires on your computer, Overdrive deletes it, and someone else can listen to that audiobook.

The easiest thing to do is to listen to the book from your computer. Transferring it to your iPod is another level of complexity that you really don't have to do at this point. Hey, it's free, because it's your local library. This is how libraries will work in the future. Large buildings, rows of shelves, paper books and digital information stored on CDs is "horse and buggy" stuff. Welcome to the future. It's a good time to be alive.