Discovering New York’s Electronic Libraries

Few things can be as relaxing as curling up with a good book on a hot summer day, and thanks to major advances in accessibility within the New York Public Library system, finding your next great read is easier than ever, even if you can’t visit your local branch.

The New York Public Library offers more than 300,000 e-books for instant download through the SimplyE app. This free application can be downloaded for Apple and Android-based smartphones and tablets and simply requires the user has an NYPL library card and Internet connection. 

With the app running, users can search through the program’s digital library for both print and audio books, download titles and enjoy their new book.  Note that the library has a limited number of licenses for every book/audiobook, so some titles will show a “reserve” button rather than offering instant download. If a user reserves a copy of the book, they will receive an e-mail when the title is available.

In addition to saving users from walking to their local branch, the SimplyE app makes good books more accessible for users with limited vision by allowing text size to be increased, while audio books are a great way to enjoy a page-turned even if the reader lacks the hand dexterity to physically turn the page on a traditional book.

If users struggle to find an engaging read through SimplyE, their NYPL membership also gives them access to several other digital reading collections, including the desktop computer-compatible OneDrive collection, which offers book, audiobook and video(!) downloads, Cloud Library, a growing collection of ebooks with an excellent search function and the Flipster Digital Magazine collection, which includes more than 100 popular magazines including Time, Bon Appetite, and both English and Spanish editions of People for some fun, lighter reading.  Note: to access Flipster, simply have your library card handy and punch in the numbers underneath your library card’s barcode when prompted, as well as your NYPL PIN number.

The NYPL also offers vast resources for those with limited vision through the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) program.

What makes the BARD program special is that unlike most ebook collections, users do not need to be particularly tech-savvy to enjoy everything this collection has to offer.  Instead, users can request a free talking book player device to be mailed to their home along with digital cartridges that contain professionally-recorded audiobooks.

Participation in the BARD program is organized through the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, a special library branch dedicated to serving those with limited sight and staffed with dedicated librarians ready to assist new members.

Best of all, everything from the talking book player, cartridge delivery and even return postage is completely free, ensuring everyone has equal access to this incredible resource.

SelectCare hopes you find this information useful and pass it along to anyone in your life that might benefit from better access to the wealth of literature available through the New York Public Library system.

SelectCare’s team of home health care experts have helped New Yorkers live happier, healthier lives in their long-time home by connecting our community to city valuable resources for more than 30 years.

To learn how SelectCare helps, call SelectCare or request a free in-home care guide today!