Bearden library has novel way to check out books


The library’s Overdrive account has almost 300 titles.

Allie Gruszkiewicz, News Editor

Bearden’s library is using an online database called Overdrive to give students access to a collection with hundreds of ebooks.

Overdrive has been part of the library system for about two years, but many students have only discovered it recently. Library books can be checked out at school or at home, and the website does not require a password.

“I went to a class that does SSR, and they didn’t want physical books because they didn’t want to worry about returning it,” librarian Mrs. Kristen Heffern said. “But [a student] got the app really quick and was able to just sit and read.”

Students can access the library’s collection of ebooks by going to Bearden’s homepage and clicking on the library/media tab. From there, they will find the link to Overdrive, where they can log in with their library card number, or their student ID without the preceding “s”.

The ebook database works like a physical library in that for each copy of a book, only one student can access the entire publication. However, if a certain book is popular, the librarians can buy another copy.

When a student checks out a book on Overdrive, they have two weeks until the system automatically returns the book or sends it to the next person on hold. Librarian Mrs. Amy Mather said that Overdrive eliminates late fees and damaged or lost books.

“There’s never a lost book, never a torn up book, there are no fines because they get turned in automatically,” Mrs. Mather said.

Currently, the ebooks library has almost 300 titles, including all the required reading for each grade level. Mrs. Heffern also noted that if a student has a request for a book that is not in the system, she can add the book to the library in as little as two hours.

“If there’s ever anything somebody wants to read, [they] can tell me and I’ll have it available, because I have money available for ebooks,” Mrs. Heffern said.

In addition to being available to read on their browsers, students can access the library’s ebooks from the Overdrive app. Also, ebooks can be downloaded to a portable e-reader.

Junior Alex Sabau, a member of the Library Advisory Board, likes ebooks because they allow her to have multiple books without having to physically carry them.

“Instead of carrying around all this weight, you have your kindle, or your laptop, so you can have fifty books on one device,” Sabau said.

On Overdrive, the limit is two books per student.

Previous to using Bearden’s system, Sabau had experience with Overdrive with the public library but said that it was complicated. However, she said that Bearden’s version of Overdrive is much simpler.

For now, the goal for librarians and Library Advisory Members is to tell students about the ebook database.

“Nobody knows about it,” Mrs. Heffern said. “That’s one of my challenges, helping to get the word out about it.”