New! Meet Libby

Did you know your library card lets you choose from thousands of eBook and eAudiobook titles? Let us introduce you to Libby, the brand new app from OverDrive for your phone or tablet that gives you full access to our digital collection!


Libby is made for mobile, so if you want to download titles to read on the go on your phone, tablet, or eReader, you’ll love it! If you prefer to look at eBooks and eAudiobooks on your computer or need accessibility functions you will still find OverDrive available while Libby continues to grow!


Here’s how to get started with Libby:

  1. On your device, go to your app store: Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Windows Store. Search for Libby and install the app (it’s free).
Libby as it appears in the Google Play Store.

2. Open the app and search for St. Thomas Public Library. An easy way to find us is to use your postal code, or use ours: N5P 3Z7


3. Don’t worry about adding your library card number yet. First browse titles by using the search bar. When you tap the search bar, you’ll see an icon that says MORE: Tap this to add other information to your search such as format, subject, or author (creator).

After you tap ‘MORE’ this menu appears with more search options.

You can also find more search options after you have searched for a title and your results are listed on the screen. If the title you’d like is checked out to someone else, you’ll see a Place Hold option instead of a Borrow option when you select that title. Tap this to place a hold on the item. You’ll also see a REFINE option with three lines on the right of your search results: You can use this to narrow your results. A good option in this menu is Hide unavailable titles. With this option selected, you won’t see titles that are checked out to others.


4. Once you’ve located a title you’d like to borrow, just tap Borrow! You’ll see you also have the option to Tag or Read Sample. The Tag option is so you can organize titles any way you like. You could tag items as ‘read’, ‘want to read’, ‘loved’, ‘didn’t love’, etc. Read a Sample lets you try out a section of the book before you borrow it. After you tap Borrow on a title you would like, you will be asked to add your library card number.

This is where you can add your St. Thomas Public Library card. You can add cards from other libraries too!

5. Once you have borrowed a book, tap the Shelf option at the bottom of the screen to see the books you have checked out. Your items will download automatically over a wi-fi connection.

Shelf with current loans on an Android device

From your shelf, you can Renew, Return, or Tag your loans. Just tap on the cover of the book and you’ll see these options.

Give Libby a try! We’re here to help you if you need it. We have courses to teach you how to use an eReader or a tablet, drop-in tech help sessions, and by-appointment tech help sessions! Call us at 519-631-6050 to register or book a time. You can also check out this handy guide from OverDrive for help. Enjoy!


Reason #37: We’re Open 24/7 With Downloadable eBooks.

Reason #37 - Available 24-7 with eBooks

Do you have an eReader? A tablet? Cell phone? Mp3 player? Laptop or desktop computer? Then you might be interested to know that many of these devices, from the smallest mp3 player to the most powerful laptop computer, can be used to borrow electronic books and audiobooks directly from the St. Thomas Public Library. You can borrow up to 10 electronic items at a time, for periods between 14 and 21 days. If there is an eBook or eAudiobook that you want but it is out on loan, you can place a hold on it, just like at the library, and you will be emailed when it becomes available. With only a valid library card and PIN number you can access thousands of new titles and classics!

In order to provide you with eBooks and eAudiobooks, the St. Thomas Public Library relies on a third-party vendor, OverDrive, to manage our electronic collection. Using OverDrive’s resources and technology, the library is able to purchase materials and loan them out, just as we would with traditional printed books or audiobooks on CD, which all takes place at Ontario Library Service Download Centre. Just find St. Thomas Public Library and sign in using your library card number and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you don’t know your PIN number, just give us a call or drop-by and we’ll tell you what it is (your library card automatically has one assigned to it). Once you have signed into your account, you can place holds, check-out titles, and even create lists of titles you want to check-out in the future.

The eBooks and eAudiobooks that you can borrow from the Ontario Library Service Download Centre come in a variety of different formats and lending rights. Before borrowing an eBook or eAudiobook, it is important to check that the item you will be downloading is in a compatible format for your particular device. Come in and pick up a copy of our free how-to booklet for a little extra guidance, or visit OverDrive’s handy help page if you get confused.

That’s all you need to pack your device full of free eBooks or eAudiobooks! If you finish your book at 3 am and the library is closed, just sign into OverDrive and download something new to read. You’ll never have to get caught without a book again!



Getting the most out of every dollar!

Libraries have always had the unique ability to provide outstanding services to the public on a shoestring budgetDigital media. Whether it’s providing free training for computer programs or access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers, libraries are always striving to meet the needs of their communities. However, over the past several years, many library budgets have been hit hard. Although finally on the upswing, libraries are now faced with the challenge of providing online services to our customers – and these resources are always expensive! Although the bulk of a library’s collection budget still goes towards print materials, there is a growing demand for eServices, and now more than ever libraries must find out which eServices will offer their patrons the most bang for their buck.

Here at St Thomas Public Library, customers can download thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks, through our OverDrive service. On top of that, we provide full-text access to hundreds of magazines, newspapers, journals and reference materials through our many online databases.

For example, the Encyclopedia Britannica Online Reference Centre has a wealth of information that can help anyone – whether you’re a teacher looking for information about the solar system, a student doing research on the human brain, a writer looking for interesting quotations, or a lifelong learner who wants to better understand the latest political crisis. With statistics, videos, images, biographies, and much more, it’s no wonder that we decided to allocate some of our collections budget towards purchasing this valuable resource.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

At St Thomas Public Library, we want to offer YOU the best online resources available –

  • Don’t have time to drop by the library?
  • Need to find some professional literature?
  • Looking for some primary sources?
  • Interested in finding a new knitting pattern?

– We have over 30 databases that you can access from the comfort of your home!!

Visit the Research page of our website to find out how we can help

you find the information you are looking for!

Post by Sarah Macintyre,

Systems and Support Services Librarian

“Get” Your Gadget – A Workshop on How to Use Your eReader

I get it! Really – I’ve been there. The latest gadget, smartphone, tablet, eReader, electronic “thing” comes out and you’ve just gotta have it. It doesn’t matter if you and electronics mix together like a paperback and a bubble bath; new gadgets are cool. Or perhaps you are the type of person who has finally taken the plunge into the digital age and recently purchased the latest electronic “thingie.” The point is, we have them. Now… how do we use them?


Have no fear, device using citizens! St. Thomas Public Library to the rescue! Some folks from the library are setting up a workshop with the specific purpose of showing you how to browse, check out, download, transfer, and read eBooks on your gadget. It doesn’t matter what type or brand of personal electronic device you have: Blackberry, Android, Kobo, Kindle, Sony, Apple, whatever! (We have some pretty tech savvy people on staff who know all about these kinds of things and they’re pretty good teachers, too!) The point is, you’ll have someone who knows what they’re doing sit down with you one-on-one to help you “get” your fancy gadget so you can read eBooks.


“Get” Your Gadget eBook Workshop Details:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

10:00 a.m. until Noon (individual half hour sessions will be booked)

Library Meeting Place, Elgin Mall

FREE admission!


Space is limited so email Carol at or call the Information Desk at 519-631-6050 to book your spot today! Also, be sure to spread the word. I have some parents, aunts, and uncles who would definitely benefit from having someone show them how to use their gadget to read eBooks and they may or may not read this blog…


OK, slight disclaimer. I know I said “any” gadget, but some devices are simply not compatible to the eBook service we subscribe to. If you’re a “better safe than sorry” kind of person, you can check here to see if your device can download library eBooks.

– RC


All About E-Books: Part 1

This Christmas’ must-have gadget wasn’t an iPad or a new laptop. This was the Christmas of the e-reader; whether a Nook or a Kobo, a Kindle, Sony’s k-less Reader or one of the many lesser-known brands, (Bookeen and Copia anyone?), 2010 was the year when e-readers moved from being a rarely-seen oddity to the mainstream.

It wasn’t really a surprise. In September, Amazon announced that for books that had both paper and digital versions available, the e-book was outselling the paper copy by almost 2 to 1. And like most libraries, we’ve seen the growth in use of our two e-book services, Overdrive and NetLibrary, and learned along with our patrons as e-books were consumed less on computers and more on e-reading devices.

E-books are indeed the way of the future; total book sales increased roughly 4% last year but sales of e-books rose 160%. Though that still only puts e-books at about 10% of total book sales, that is up from around 3% the year before. While claims of the end of paper books is as ridiculous as claims in the 80s of computers creating a paperless office , it is clear that e-books are very, very popular.

The pace of this increase in popularity has taken the book industry by surprise and everyone, including book publishers and libraries, is still trying to figure out what’s next for e-books.

There’s no denying the many benefits of e-books; access to hundreds of books wherever you want them all weighing less than a paperback and able to fit into a pocket or purse, the environmental benefits, (studies show it takes reading around 20 e-books to offset the environmental cost of producing an e-reader), and down the road what should be significantly lower prices for e-books compared to paper copies. For book publishers, the elimination of the high shipping costs of books and the fact that the incremental cost to produce one copy or 1000 is pennies, means they will be very actively figuring out ways to make e-books even more popular.

And there are many things to still be figured out; the music and movie industries have had to wrestle with new technology and now it’s the publishing industry’s turn. This includes dealing with piracy – the unauthorized sharing of e-books without payment – and digital rights.

For example, Harper Collins recently announced that e-books loaned from libraries would deactivate after 26 loans, forcing the library to buy another copy. The decision is ridiculous to libraries who exist to serve the public, but makes perfect sense for a for-profit company. No other publishers have followed suit yet and Harper Collins has admitted that it is willing to discuss alternatives with libraries, showing just how unsure they are of the impact of their decision.

We’ve already seen debates about pricing; Amazon wanted to impose prices for e-books before agreeing to let publishers set their own prices. Publishers claim long lists of costs associated with the production of e-books but the fact is that once the basic production and marketing costs are covered, even an e-book sold at $0.99 is almost 100% profit, meaning that publishers will be driving the move to e-books as much as anyone.

E-Books are definitely here to stay. But in what form?

In Part 2 we’ll talk about what e-books could mean for the book format; once a book doesn’t have to be a bunch of paper between two covers, what does it become?

– PA

eBook Workshop

eReaders have been rapidly growing in popularity. I, personally, find them absolutely fantastic – convenient and portable. I like being able to carry around 125 books in my bag without lugging around the weight. But, to be honest, all of the eBook download sites out there where a little confusing when I first started out, and that includes free download services offered by our own St. Thomas Public Library! But not to worry because St. Thomas Public Library is offering…

How to eBook” Workshop

Saturday, March 12

10:00 a.m. until Noon

Carnegie Room, lower level, St. Thomas Public Library

Have you been given an eReader as a gift? Or have recently made the move to the convenience of eBooks. If you’re having trouble navigating or downloading books, we’re here to help!

Whether it’s a Kobo, Sony Reader, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or any of the other many eBook readers available, our E-Services Specialist  will hel pyou get the answers you need including how to use OverDrive and NetLibrary, the library’s free eBook services.

There is no fee or registration required to attend this workshop. Please bring your device, any necessary attachments or cables, and your library card and we’ll have you downloading and reading books like a pro. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! If you have any questions before you attend or would like some more information, please contact Peter Atkinson at, the friendly E-Services Specialist!