If you love to read but can’t make it to the library, the Air Force will bring the library to you.
OverDrive, one of several Air Force library online resources, features nearly 10,000 electronic books, audio books, videos and music available for checkout to eligible customers, said Melinda Mosley, USAF Library Program administrative librarian.
All Airmen with an official Air Force email address are eligible to set up their own account, and family members or others who don’t have an Air Force email address can sign up for an account at their Air Force library, Mosley said. To date, 16,300-plus account holders have initiated more than 125,000 checkouts since OverDrive was established in 2007.
Account holders can download books, music and movies to their personal computer, tablet, smart phone, e-reader, iPod, MP3 player and more for 3-14 days, and can have up to five items checked out at a time.
“We have a wide variety of options at the site, so mystery and history lovers alike will find something of interest,” Mosley said. “We also regularly add new items, including recent top sellers like “The Help,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “The Hunger Games,” as well as a small collection of music and videos.”
Those who want to read the Chief of Staff Reading List titles can also find them front and center on the home page, she added.
As with resources at all Air Force libraries, checking out books on OverDrive is free. The books are “returned” automatically, so customers won’t have to worry about forgetting to return a selection.
Like other libraries, checkout is limited to the number of copies the library owns, so readers may have to put their name on the waiting list for a popular item.
“We try to keep the waiting lists short. However, depending on the title, funds or publisher availability, we may not be able to buy as many copies as we’d like. We do order new titles every week, though, so even when there is a waiting list for a title you want, thousands of other options are available while you wait,” Mosley explained.
Once an account has been established, and the free software installed, customers can download selections to the device and in the format that best suits their needs.
“I use a smart phone for audio books and a Nook for my eBooks,” Mosley said. “We want the resource to be available for all of our customers, and we try to make sure it’s user friendly.”
To create an account online using your Air Force email address, go to http://af.lib.overdrive.com [ http://af.lib.overdrive.com/ ]. From there, follow the instructions on the “email self registration” option. A help menu has links to videos for those who need a little more assistance.
Mosley reminds readers who plan to download checkouts to a personal computer that they cannot do so on a government computer.
“However, using your Air Force email address to create the account will enable you download to your PC or a wireless device, and you can always stop by the base library for help as well,” Mosley said.
Air Force librarians welcome customer input, so online readers, movie buffs and music fans are encouraged to submit requests for selections the library doesn’t carry.
“Just go to the “help” button and send us an email, and we’ll do our best for you,” Mosley said.