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South Valley Journal

What can a Salt Lake County Library Card Do For You When The Library Is Closed?

Mar 16, 2020 11:00AM ● By Justin Adams

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

With Salt Lake County Libraries closing due to COVID-19, many bibliophiles are mourning the temporary loss of their free and convenient access to new books. Fortunately for them, a Salt Lake County Library card is still quite valuable, even if the library itself might be closed down.

The Salt Lake County Library website provides card-holders with access to a variety of online resources, from eBooks and audiobooks to digital magazines and movies, all for free. 

Most of those resources come through a partnership with the company OverDrive. According to its website, Overdrive “offers the largest digital content catalog in the world to more than 43,000 libraries and schools in 75 countries.”

To begin browsing these resources, simply head to the library’s home page, then click on the link that says “Download eBooks & eAudiobooks,” which is located under the Reader’s Cafe section.

From there, you’ll be directed to a page with separate sections for eAudiobooks, eBooks, eMagazines and eMovies. 

eAudiobooks

The eAudibooks section connects book-lovers with a seemingly endless list of titles for which they can download a digital audiobook file. It allows you to borrow up to eight at a time, and keep each one for three weeks. It also gives you the option of downloading an MP3 file or listen to the audiobook in your browser. (Using the MP3 option requires that you have the Overdrive app on your device). 

eBooks

The library’s offering of eBooks operates pretty similarly. For this one you can borrow up to ten titles at a time, and again, you’ll have three weeks to read them. You’ll also have the option of downloading the eBook to any device with a Kindle app or you can digitally flip through the eBook’s pages in the comfort of your own browser. 

eMagazines

This is the only service that isn’t provided through OverDrive. This one is done through a company called Flipster. It allows you to view digital versions of the latest editions of your favorite magazine. It has an impressive list of offerings including the most popular magazines like Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, TIME and National Geographic. And again, all you need to access it is a Salt Lake County Library card number.

eMovies

This one is probably the least necessary, since most folks these days are subscribed to one, if not several, video-streaming services. And the OverDrive catalogue honestly kind of reflects that. There seems to be a lot of classic movies, so if that’s your thing, this might be a digital treasure chest. Aside from that, there are a bunch of Hallmark-style Christmas movies, some National Geographic documentaries, a bunch of children’s television, and the entire Sharknado franchise (It’s now up to movie number five, by the way).