New service makes library e-books easy to access

Many titles can now be read online without downloading software

PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County Library cardholders can now read many library e-books without the hassle of downloading software or transferring files across devices. A new Library2Go service called OverDrive READ makes it possible to simply go online, sign in and start reading.

The service works with most modern web browsers on a mobile or tablet device as well as on a traditional desktop computer. You can sync across devices to the furthest page read — for example, start reading on your smartphone, then pick up where you left off on your tablet. The books are browsable and searchable, and you control the font, line spacing and other variables for reading comfort.

About half of the library’s e-books are available in OverDrive READ format. To see only titles available in OverDrive READ format, go to the e-books and downloadables page, click "download an e-book, audiobook or video from the library," then "Advanced Search" at the top right of the screen, then select the OverDrive READ format from the drop-down menu. To tell whether an individual title is available in OverDrive READ format, just look for "OverDrive READ" under "Available formats" on the right side of the page for that title.

A new, more intuitive Library2Go interface also makes it easier for patrons to find and borrow titles.

"Demand for digital library books nearly tripled from 2011 to 2012, and it continues to grow," said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. "We’re excited to offer a streamlined and mobile-friendly service that eliminates some of the obstacles to online reading and learning."

Patrons can direct questions to a librarian or fill out a form for help with technical problems.