ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – You can get books, movies and music right off the shelf without stepping foot inside an Orange County library.
The Orange County Library System has been delivering materials to its members since 1974. All you have to do is check out the book, movie or CD on its website.
A team of librarians finds the items on the shelves across all of its branches, wraps them up and packs them into delivery boxes.
Then, the materials are delivered to your door for free, either through the postal service or Priority Express Parcel. PEP is a local company that helped deliver more than 500,000 library materials in 2020.
“Recently, with the pandemic, we’ve noticed there’s an increase in the number of materials checked out for kids. It’s a great feeling to know you’re a part of something helping the community,” said PEP General Manager Paul Clay.
When you’re done with your library materials, you can drop them off at any of the Orange County Library drop boxes, library branches or mail them back.
Click here to learn more about OCLS’s delivery options.
If you don’t want to deal with hard covers and turning pages, there are digital options.
The Orange County Library System has hundreds of thousands of materials you can access from just about any mobile device.
“We have (a) large collection, from eBooks and audio books to magazines and they’re on apps accessible on Android, iOS and Apple TV,” Jon Crowley said.
Crowley is the Assistant Manager of Collection Development at OCLS. He said the library’s digital materials have expanded over the years.
“The books are really accessible, really easy to use. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s free. A lot of people spend a lot of money. If you buy one to two eBooks a month, you could spend $200 a year just on those things,” Crowley said.
Checking out a book is simple using the library’s partnering apps, like Hoopla and Canopy, through the library’s website.
To check out an eBook, you’ll need a library card. Using the library’s website, you can type in an author or book title and hit the “borrow” button. The book will download onto your device so you can access it offline. You can also transfer the book to your Kindle device.
Through OCLS’ downloadable media service, OverDrive, those with disabilities may qualify for L.E.A.P., a service that provides DAILY and Braille formats that can be read with computers, assistive reading devices, Braille printers, and even MP3 players. It includes free Victor Reader Soft and Read:OutLoud reading software.
There’s also an expanded digital library for movies that you can download right to your device or smart TV.
“There are no fines for late digital content. You can either return it early or, if you’re done, once the timeframe is up, it will automatically be returned to us,” Crowley said.
All of these services are free. You’ll just need a library card. You can sign up for an OCLS library card online by clicking here.
As part of National Library Week, which runs from April 4-10, every member who signs up for a new library card will get a free ticket to WonderWorks Orlando.