Online Resources: Download and Stream with Freegal

In Part One of our series on Your Child’s Library on Demand we focused on the various free online resources you can download to your computer or your child’s electronic devices, including dates and information on free workshops at the Bowman and Handley libraries.

Part Two focused on navigating the Blue Ridge Download Consortium and downloading eBooks to your eReader.

Part Three introduced the OverDrive application for tablets and phones for downloading audiobooks, movies, and more, including instructions on how to download the app, sign in, and checking out available resources.

Today we will look at the Freegal music site and how you can use your library card to download and stream music. It’s legal and it’s completely free through your Handley Regional Library card!

Through Freegal you can download up to 5 songs a week in an mp3 format, and stream music for up to 3 hours a day for personal use with your Handley Regional Library card. You can do this directly from your computer, or download the app for your Apple device (iPhone/iPad/iTouch), Android phone or tablet, and any Amazon Kindle Fire 3rd generation and up. (Barnes & Noble tablet devices are not compatible with the Freegal Music app at this time.)

Note: Though this wasn’t the case for OverDrive and the Blue Ridge Download Consortium, you will need your library PIN to sign up for Freegal. You should have been assigned a PIN number when you received your library card. If you do not remember what it is, your library circulation desk can assign you a new one by stopping by the circulation desk or giving them a phone call. Library locations, hours, and phone numbers can be found here.

In our previous post in this series we walked you through downloading the OverDrive app to your individual devices. The process is the same for the Freegal app. So, if you’re on an Apple device, head to your App Store and search “Freegal”. You’ll find this in Google Play for your Android device, and if you have a Kindle you’ll want to shop your Amazon App Store. If you are on a computer, you can find the link through the Handley Regional Library website under eBooks & More, or click here.



If you’re on your computer, you’re already there! You will be prompted to login and taken to the login page. Your login page gives you a great overview on how Freegal works, with more details under the FAQ section on the upper right.

If you’re on a device, you will need to find the Handley Regional Library before proceeding. Below is how this looks on an Android, but the process is similar on an Apple or Fire.


You’ll enter your 14 digit library card number, then your unique 4 digit PIN.

Once you have logged in, you will then need to agree to the terms of service, then you are ready to search for music.

Two important areas on your front page to note include the top bar, which lets you know how many downloads you have remaining this week, and your current streaming limit for the day. The links on the left will show you your former playlists and downloads.


Your app will look like this, with your search and current download session at the top and your playlists at the bottom.


All set? Let’s find a song!

In the search box, we’ll type in “Owl City” to see what they have on Freegal.


From here you can click or tap the arrow on the left and the song will start streaming through the flash player on the bottom of the screen. To the right of the song, choose more options on the right to download, or add to a playlist. If you choose playlist, you will be prompted to then select a playlist, or create a new one.


The app works the same. The blue arrow on the left will stream the song immediately, and the arrow on the right will download the song. You can also tap on the name of the song for more options, or refine the search to songs, albums, or videos by tapping the above tabs.


It’s that easy! Freegal is very user friendly and you will soon find yourself creating playlists and downloading your weekly songs with ease. You’ll find children’s music, many of today’s popular songs, classics, karaoke music, and even music videos. (Music videos take up two downloads.)

This is the final installment of our Online Resource series. Make sure you take a look at the Handley Regional Library section under the “eBooks and More“, where you’ll find links to other resources, including Mango and Zinio, all available to you through your local library!


Online Resources: Using OverDrive on Your Child’s Device

In part one of our series on Your Child’s Library on Demand we introduced some of the many ways the Handley Regional Library can enhance your child’s electronic devices. Part two focused on navigating the Kids and Teens section of the Blue Ridge Download Consortium and how to download as an EPUB or move it to your Amazon Cloud for your Kindle reader.

Today we will focus on the OverDrive application, a clever little app that will open your device up to a world of library resources, serving all of your instant gratification desires for ebooks, audiobooks, and even movies. (Movies available on Android and iOS only.) A perfect option for those long car drives, waits in the dentist’s office, or snow days when you cannot get to the library in person.

Unless you happen to live with a very tech-savvy teen, navigating these strange modern contraptions can get overwhelming, so screen shots will be available where possible for the visual learner, or simply the technologically challenged. If you’re a grandparent working on a 7-year-old’s tablet and trying to download an audiobook, you’re covered!

OverDrive is an application that is available for most major devices. We’ll take a close look at how to find and download it on an Android, Amazon Fire tablet, and an iPad®/iPhone®, which will cover some of the most common devices.  OverDrive is also available for Chromebook, Windows Phone, and Windows 8 & 10. If you have a different device than what we cover here, the setup is similar and the apps and instructions can be found on the OverDrive website.

Once it’s up and ready, we’ll sign in and learn to navigate the Blue Ridge Download Consortium from the device, downloading content, complete with step-by-step screenshots.

Below are three pictures. If you click on the photo, a larger picture will expand with step-by-step screen shots to follow on how to find and download the app on three different major devices.  (Hint: if you click the picture here and then click on the picture again, it should enlarge it so you can see the text.) For the Android, I am using a Moto X phone, but the icons should look similar on any phone using an Android platform. The Fire tablet is a common FIRE HD 7, and my Apple device is a iPad Air Tablet, which should look similar on an iPhone.

Android Device



Amazon Fire


Are we there yet? Almost!

Now you need to register OverDrive. Because the next steps are virtually the same on each device, I’ll use the iPad® to complete the process by signing into OverDrive with a Handley Regional Library card, find the Blue Ridge Download Consortium, and check out a library audiobook!

You can set up an account  yourself, sign in with Facebook, or use your Handley Regional Library card. For this demonstration we’ll sign in with the library card and do a search for your library.


Caution! The auto-correct options that come with some phones will try to sneak in a change for “Handley”. I have had it automatically changed to “Handles” or “Handled” on various different devices, so check the spelling if it doesn’t come up right away.




You’re there! You’ve added the application and signed in. Now you are ready to sign in to the Blue Ridge Download Consortium. You only have to do the previous and next steps once. Your app will remember your library after this unless you manually remove it.

To find the consortium, begin by tapping in the box to add your library.  You can also see “Add Library” at the top of the menu by tapping there.

Please note: Though you did sign in to OverDrive with your library card, (if you chose not to create your own account or sign in through Facebook), you will still need your library card to sign in to the consortium.  This is a separate process.


Once again, search for Handley Regional Library. Watch that auto correct!



Welcome to the consortium! At this point, navigating will be almost identical to our previous blog post in the series, so head back there for a reminder on how to sign in with your Handley Regional Library card number.

After you sign in and click into the kids and teens section, you can then narrow the collection down to audiobooks, which is our goal today. Follow the screen shots and we’ll check out “A Wrinkle in Time” as our example for this demonstration.


Congratulations! You just opened up a world of audiobooks for your child! Any time you wish to return to OverDrive, just find the icon on your menu and your book will pick up where you left off.

Join us next week as we download the Freegal Music App to get free music downloads and streaming.

Checking Out Library eBooks for Your Child

This is the second post in our series on utilizing the online resources through the Handley Regional Library System. In our first post, an overview was given on the many ways your library can add value to your child’s electronic devices. Today we’ll look more closely on how to navigate the Blue Ridge Download Consortium on your P.C. You will also learn how to transfer your selections to an eReader, such as a Kindle.

If you have a tablet or phone, such as a Fire from Amazon, or an iPad, iPhone, or Android device, you will need to download the OverDrive application. We will go through that in our next blog post in the series, so stay tune! Meanwhile, you can get familiar with navigating the Consortium on your P.C.

First, if you’re already on the HRL website, you can find the Blue Ridge Consortium and all of our resources through a link on our front page:


The Blue Ridge Download Consortium can be found through a direct picture link here:


You can also bookmark a direct link to the Blue Ridge Download Consortium for future reference. The link will take you to the front page where you can sign in.


Be ready in with your Handley Regional Library Card. You will need to have a library card before you can check out any books. Don’t have a card? Go here, then feel free to browse until you can get your library card up and running.

Got it ready? Ok, pick your library from the list…


then sign in.


You’re ready to search! If you are looking for yourself, you can begin browsing subjects, but because we are looking at youth services on this blog, we’ll go straight to the Kids & Teens section. Click it!


You and your child can now browse by subject or search for an additional book. By clicking on “Collections” you can also narrow it down to what is currently available to check out or searched by ebook or audiobook.


As you can see above, Warriors and These Happy Golden Years are both available, but the rest have a “Wait List”. If you select a book that is not available, you’ll be given the option to be placed on the wait list and notified by email when the book arrives. It’ll be in the “Holds” section of your account until then, where you can check the status.

Once you find an available book you would like to check out, confirm the format works on your device if you have not already narrowed down selections to include this, then select the book.

You will now find it and all of your library loans by clicking on the three little books near the top right. Or, click on “My Account” to choose loans, holds, your wish list, or settings.


From your Loans screen, you can read it immediately in your browser, or choose another format, such as Kindle or EPUB.


For this demonstration, we’ll select “Kindle”, which will pull up a window linking directly to Amazon. At this point you will sign in on your personal Amazon account and add the book to your Kindle library, sending it to your preferred device, just as you would any book you purchase. Your book will be available for either 7 or 14 days, depending on your preferences when you selected borrow. (Default is generally 14 days.)


That’s all there is to it!

Next time we’ll look at the OverDrive application to enjoy your On The Go Resources through other devices, including audiobooks and even movies!


Your Child’s Library On Demand!

Do you remember the weeks after Christmas when you were a child? The most complicated thing your parents had to deal with was getting that action figure out of the over-taped box, or reading the instructions on the latest board game.  However, in our digital age, Santa and his elves often tend to focus on electronics. In fact, I’ve heard he’s gotten quite skilled at the latest technology.

tux-161439_1280Perhaps, instead of an action figure, puzzle or a board game, your child received an iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle, or Fire tablet. Since Santa is sure to have only your child’s best interest in mind, I’m willing to bet he knew how, when used to their full potential, these seemingly mindless devices can be used to enhance your child’s education and enjoyment of the world of books.

Unless you were bombarded with a large number of gift cards to go with the purchase, you may find yourself limited to the free game apps, which can be fun for a bit of brain candy, but over time lack the mental substance you’d like to provide your child.
electronic-resourcesJust as your local library is here to provide a variety of physical books and DVDs for your child, we are also here to turn that expensive gadget into a world of books, audiobooks, music, and even movies, all at your fingertips throughout the year. Our online resources are instantly available to you on days when you’re unable to get to the library, away on vacation, snowed in at home, or after hours when your child needs a book immediately for a report at school he forgot was due in the morning. The best part? It’s FREE with your local library card.

This winter the Handley Regional Library System will be promoting our Library on Demand, helping our patrons get the most out of their local library’s e-resources. We will be offering drop-in demos on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00pm at the Bowman Library, or at the information desk at Handley Library. Workshops will be available in March with free registration on the following dates:

March 4 – 11:00 AM-12:30 PM @ Bowman Library
March 7 – 6:00-7:30 PM @ Bowman Library with Storycrafters
March 15 – 1:30-3:00 PM @ Handley Library
(Registration required for workshops)

ereaderWhat if you can’t make it to a workshop? No problem! Check back on this blog over the next month and we’ll walk you through the individual features, with child and teen resources in mind. You will learn how to download Overdrive to play audiobooks, read ebooks, and even play movies. If you have a Kindle device, step-by-step instructions will be given on searching for a book and transferring it to to download on to your Kindle. Instructions for downloading freegal music will also be included.

Don’t let modern technology overwhelm you. Join us as we walk you through each step and explore a full digital library of ebooks, audiobooks, and downloadable music!