Category Archives: ebooks

Automatic Borrowing with ODL

The Ohio Digital Library is one of the services the Stark County District Library uses to provide ebooks, eaudiobooks, streaming videos and magazines to our patrons. Sometimes items are not available immediately, and a hold has to be placed on the item. This is a simple enough process—when you find the item you want and click or tap on the cover, where it would say Borrow if the item was available, it says Place a Hold.
You are then taken to a page and asked to fill out your email twice, so as to avoid issues due to typos, and then you click Place a Hold and you’re done. Right?


The Ohio Digital Library added a nice feature that is turned on by default: Automatically borrow this title when it becomes available. This means that the second the item becomes available, it is checked out to you. You just need to download it. (Or begin enjoying the item right in your browser.) The default option used to be to receive an email when your item became available, at which point you had 72 hours to check out the item, or it would move to the next person. (You still get the email letting you know the item has been checked out to you.)


Now, if I want to hold off on checking out an item, because I know I’m likely to be busy and wouldn’t be able to start reading right away, sometimes I will uncheck the automatic borrow option in order to give myself three days to finish up what I’m currently reading. (Or at least get closer to the end.) Of course, sometimes when I’m busy, especially if I might be taking a long weekend and not checking my email, I may want the item to check out automatically to me, because I’m afraid I won’t see the email in time to check out my hold before it moves to the next person. It just depends.

The important thing to know is that holds will automatically check out to you if you do not uncheck the box for that option. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing. But it’s nice that the Ohio Digital Library gives you options.