5 (Really Awesome) Download Services for Your Summer Travels

5 (Really Awesome) Download Services for Your Summer Travels

When I travel, I generally take a library book with me. It’s not that I intentionally travel with library books, it’s just that I always have at least one library book borrowed and travel time is one of the best times to get some uninterrupted reading done.

If you’d rather not take a library book on the road, or if you prefer reading on your tablet, phone or other device, you have some really great options.

Libraries have leveled up digital services and they now offer a variety of ways to download digital materials. This way, you can take books, music, movies and more with you on the road, without actually taking the materials with you. Here are five of our favorite library apps and downloads for your last minute travel needs.

sign the pledge to vote for libraries! 

1. Freegal

Freegal is a free music service accessible with your library card. The platform provides access to millions of songs, over 40,000 music videos, and music from 100-plus countries around the world.

2. OverDrive

OverDrive is a platform that serves up ebooks to public library users and offers a one-click app for your phone or tablet. With over two million ebooks and audiobooks and 30,000 participating libraries in 40-plus countries, chances are good you’ll find something that catches your fancy. Bonus for teens: OverDrive also delivers free audiobooks through SYNC, the summertime reading program for young people age 13 and up.

3. Hoopla

Hoopla is a service that lets you instantly borrow borrow digital movies, music, ebooks, comic books, magazines and more with your library card. The platform has pioneered a model that allows patrons to “borrow content immediately, removing artificial availability constraints and maximizing the power of digital content and Internet distribution.”

4. Playaway

Playaway provides library patrons with, not just digital downloads, but the actual players, as well. Described as pre-loaded products, Playaway devices, including tablets, ereaders and video players, are pre-loaded with audiobooks, ebooks, videos, interactive learning tools and apps. This means no download times, no set-up, and no need for access to wifi.

5. Kanopy

Described by CBS News as a “arguably, the greatest assortment of international art cinema under one roof,” Kanopy is a streaming video service that boasts over 30,000 independent and documentary films, accessible to library card holders. A cinematic treasure trove, Kanopy provides free access to films of cultural and social value.

I must admit that I get slightly paranoid at the notion of losing, or destroying a library book. So I treat them with great care — I mean even greater care than I usually do — so I can get them back to the stacks ready to go for the next person! That’s another reason digital downloads are a part of my travel routine. I hope they can be for you, too.