Borrowing Digital Titles 101

Although JMRL is currently offering curbside pickup for physical items (see more details in this blog post), now is still a great time to consider borrowing a downloadable ebook or audiobook. Take advantage of JMRL’s digital collections and explore thousands of titles all from the comfort of your own home. Don’t know where to start? No problem! The following is an overview of JMRL’s digital collections and links for getting started. 

JMRL’s eLibrary consists of several digital collections that are available anywhere, anytime with a JMRL library card. The three most popular collections are Overdrive/Libby, RBdigital, and Freading.


overdrivelibbyiconOverdrive contains both ebooks and audiobooks that are compatible with many different devices. Libby is the updated and user-friendly version of the Overdrive app that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet from your device’s app store. Whether you are browsing for titles from the Libby app or, you will sign in using your library card number. Note that Overdrive/Libby recently introduced an “Instant Digital Card” feature, but we encourage you to use your existing JMRL card number to sign in and borrow titles.

For step-by-step instructions on getting started, visit Overdrive’s Getting Started page. You will also find detailed instructions for specific devices, including Androids, Kindles, Kobos, Macs, and Windows devices. Detailed instructions on borrowing, downloading, returning, and other actions in the Libby app are available here.


logo_RBdigital_verticalLike Overdrive/Libby, RBdigital contains downloadable books and audiobooks, but also houses magazines and comic books. There is an app version of RBdigital that is compatible with different devices so you can listen or read on your phone or tablet. Unlike Overdrive/Libby that only requires a JMRL card to sign-in, new RBdigital users will need to register and create an account with a username and password. Although the app is not quite as user-friendly as Libby, RBdigital is used less frequently so there may be shorter waiting periods for titles.

For help on getting started or troubleshooting, visit RBdigital’s Help page for step-by-step instructions and video tutorials. 


dl-freadingLast but not least, Freading contains a selection of ebooks that, unlike Overdrive/Libby or RBdigtial, are available at all times with no wait lists and can be accessed through the Freading app or on a computer. Like RBdigital, new Freading users will need to register to create an account. Freading is also unique in that their ebooks are wrapped in Adobe software so users will need to take the additional step of downloading Adobe Digital Editions on their device and creating an Adobe ID. For more information on using Freading, visit their FAQ page.

While JMRL branches are currently closed to the public, Reference staff are working remotely and are available to answer any questions you may have about borrowing digital titles. Visit the eLibrary page on the JMRL website and look under the Need Assistance? section for ways to reach out to staff via chat, email, or text. 

Happy Reading!

Let’s Get Digital!

Do you have any old VHS tapes, film negatives, or home cassette tapes that you want to look at again? At the Central Library we can help you convert your old film to digital format!

The reference staff at Central can help you

  • Scan your photographs, using a Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 wireless mobile scanner
  • Convert film negatives and slides using a Wolverine F2D Mighty 20MP 7-in-1 film to digital converter
  • Convert your old mix tapes and cassettes to MP3
  • Transfer video from VHS tape to a digital format

You have the option of receiving a brief tutorial and continuing on your own or you can get step-by-step assistance the entire time. For your appointment, bring your film/VHS/cassette tapes/photographs, and an USB/SD storage drive of at least 8 GB (preferred) or have a Cloud account to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive.

Scanning is by appointment at the Central Library- call 434.979.7151 x 4 or email to set up a time.

MOOCs – a new way to learn

Want to learn a new subject this new year? Head online and sign up for a MOOC. MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are free, open access courses, designed for unlimited participation. Traditional course instruction like filmed lectures, reading, website links, exercises, assignments, and final projects are provided in an online environment. These courses were first started in 2008 and have gained popularity in the past few years. Topics vary widely from computer science to English composition and everything in between. 

There are a variety of MOOC providers and most include courses from major universities. To access some you may need to create an online account which will just take a few minutes. A few of the more popular providers are:

courseraCoursera (available as an app on iOS and Android) – This is a for-profit company that offers free courses with a pay for a certificate model. It offers subjects such as mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, and data science taught by universities like University of Michigan, Standford, Duke, and our very own UVA.

khan-academy-logoKhan Academy (available as an app on iOS and Android) – This is a nonprofit site that is primarily videos, but does now offer accompanying exercises for some subjects. It is an excellent resource for high school students as it covers a lot of subjects they are studying.

edxedX (available as an app on iOS and Android) – This is a non-profit site created by MIT and Harvard which now includes other contributing universities like UC Berkeley and the University of Texas. It hosts university level courses on subjects from sciences to humanities.

If these don’t have what you’re looking for, search around for another that might.