eBooks and eAudiobooks: Flexible and Accessible

eBooks and eAudiobooks bannerFor many years, the Thunder Bay Public Library has offered physical buildings with paper books and other tangible resources; but did you know that we also offer a Virtual Library that is open 24/7 at http://www.tbpl.ca! It consists of a wealth of databases and other online resources, including our main eBook and eAudiobook platform: CloudLibrary.

CloudLibrary can be used on smartphones, tablets, and computers to access materials. Items that aren’t currently in use can be checked out immediately, while popular items can be put on hold to use when available. In the midst of lockdowns during this pandemic, it has been a joy to know that I can always access some reading material at any time from the comfort of home.

One aspect of eBooks that is not often explored is the modifications that can be made to suit users’ accessibility needs. For example, with a paper book one is restricted to whatever font size is printed on the pages, whereas in CloudLibrary, you can take out an eBook, open it, press the centre of the screen, and adjust the font size and style to suit your needs. This is most helpful for those who prefer large print materials. In addition, you can change the way the colours present themselves: if black text on a white page is too harsh, you can invert the colours to have white text on a black background, among other choices.

Another format which is growing in popularity are eAudiobooks. Gone are the days of having to change out cassettes or CDs every hour; now you can check out an eAudiobook as simply as you check out an eBook and listen to the item at your own leisure. Not only is this format a joy for people who are visually challenged, but also for those who like to listen while doing a variety of activities, such as cleaning, going for a walk, cooking, or crafting. Plus, like everything in CloudLibrary, these items are available for free – you just need a Library Card.

Apply for your free library card by emailing comments@tbpl..ca or by calling the library at 345-8275 from Monday through Friday (10 am – 4 pm) to speak to a staff member.

(Kristal Vanderleest) – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.

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