Saturday, September 30, 2023

Reading Books with Libby

I have read books with Kindle, Nook, and on my computer since 2010. I do like paper copies, but you can't carry 400 books in your purse or pocket, and if you move you pay 50 to 60 cents per pound to get them to your new place. Plus, some books are heavy and my fingers prefer less weight these days.

I didn't use library ebook services much, simply because I already had so many Kindle ebooks I hadn't read. However, some of what I want to read is expensive on commercial sites, especially audiobooks, so I've delved more into Libby, the free reading app most public libraries use. 

How do you start using Libby? First, you need a library card. Then download the Libby App on your phone or laptop (or both). 

Apple Download

Android Download

Amazon Kindle Fire

Libby's own instructions are better than any I could write, and very clear. Visit Libby's Getting Started help pages. You need a Libby account, but it's free and you access it from the app you installed for Apple or Android (Google). 

Once you've downloaded the app, sign in with your library card from your own library website or the Overdrive sign-in page, which lets you put in your library card number. (Overdrive is Libby's parent site.)

Overdrive signin for Libby with your lbrary card number. (There is a way to set up an account using your email, but I have not done this.)

Make sure to go to "account" and add your email and select your library. You'll do this by entering your zip code or libray name and selecting your library. Your library will usually be part of a consortium, so your zip code search may take you there first.

Once you are signed in, the fun begins. You'll usually see a list of bestselling books, but you can easily search by author, title, or subject. You may need to place a hold on a book, since libraries only have so many copies of a specific book. You'll be notified by email when it's available.

These are general guidelines. As with any app or software, explore a little. Books are always worth the time it takes to find them. Happy reading!

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To learn more about Elaine L. Orr, visit her website or sign up for her newsletter 

Monday, September 11, 2023

Never Forgetting

Elaine L. Orr

You don't need to be an American to remember where you were on September 11, 2001. I was in an office in Washington, DC, about 10 blocks north of the Potomac River. A south-facing window showed the smoke rising from the Pentaton.

The fire was out very quickly, unlike in New York City. Because of the massive demand for news, we couldn't get on the Internet. TV and radio worked fine, and rumors rocketed around the office. A car bomb was said to have been found in front of the State Department -- not true, but the most persistent of the batch. It wasn't until I saw a two-inch "rumor-denied" piece in the next day's Washington Post, that I realized that rumor was also false.

Pentagon gap is below lowest-hanging traffic light

My office was three blocks west of the White House and eight east of the U.S. Capitol, so after the plance crashed in Pennsylvania, we worried about more planes en route to DC. For about an hour, traffice was gridlocked. I had come in on the Metro. Could we take the subway home? And when I say 'home,' I mean a friend's house. I was visiting from Iowa. With all air traffic stopped, several days later I could fly home, but not before then. 

My clearest memory is that I was the only one watching the office television who cried when the second tower came down. Were people numb? I never asked the others why they didn't cry.

Letter from school children after September 11th/
Fence at Arlington National Cemetery.
Such concerns are minor compare to what was happening at the Pentagon and in New York City.

On the 13th, I drove to Arlington, Virginia and parked close enough to walk to a spot next to Arlington National Cemetery. My parents are in there, and my mother sometimes worked in the Pentagon during World War II. The huge hole boggled my mind, as did the idea of 184 people dying there two days prior.

Lots of other people wanted a sense of community with the tragedy, as you can see by the sign hung on the fence that surrounds the cemetery. A couple dozen people stood or sat quietly, looking at the Pentagon.

Most years I write about September 11th. Maybe someone who lived through that time will be comforted, and perhaps someone who has no memory of it will feel the sorrow. We cannot forget.

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To learn more about Elaine L. Orr, visit her website or sign up for her newsletter