Reading is essential in life, regardless of how old we are. Thanks to books we can learn and have fun with millions of different stories, and public libraries have always played a fundamental role there. These make all kinds of books available to anyone, and they do it for free. But what if there was a way to access these books from home? Actually there is, and it’s called eBiblio.
The eBiblio project was born promoted by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports to precisely answer the question that we have formulated a little above. Reading is now much easier thanks to the fact that we can do it on practically any device, and eBiblio is a platform that allows us to freely access all kinds of digital content on loan as if we were going to our nearest library.
What is eBiblio?
As we can read on the service page itself , eBiblio is a free online loan service for audiobooks, books, magazines and electronic newspapers . All this content is offered through the Spanish public libraries, and it is that it has the participation of the administrations of practically the entire Spanish territory (except Catalonia and the Basque Country, which have their own electronic lending project).
With this agreement, the Subdirectorate General for Library Coordination of the Ministry of Culture and Sports makes the platform for managing the service offered by eBiblio available to the communities, while the Autonomous Communities are gradually enriching the catalog of their libraries. This catalog, in fact, includes fiction and non-fiction works from a wide variety of authors, and with options for all ages . In addition, in this catalog it is not difficult to find very interesting options for all kinds of subjects, such as literature, sports, health or self-help, just to name a few examples.
In this way, we can say that eBiblio is a centralized service that gives access to the independent service of each Autonomous Community. It is interesting to note this, since not all communities will have an identical catalog , nor the same number of copies for each content.
Speaking of figures, the truth is that eBiblio experienced a fairly significant boom in 2020 (the closure of libraries due to the pandemic was to blame), and although it has not been able to maintain this growth, it is a service that many Spanish citizens already enjoy. As we can also see on its page, as of December 31, 2021, eBiblio had 640,898 copies on loan , a figure that we cannot ignore.
That’s how easy it is to use eBiblio
It’s time to talk about the requirements to use eBiblio and how the platform works. We have already told you above that it is a free service that everyone can access, but there is a fundamental prerequisite that we have to meet yes or yes: it is necessary to be a member of a public library of the Communities that have eBiblio . Obtaining a library card and credentials is also free, and all you have to do is go to your nearest library to do so. It should be noted that some Autonomous Communities allow registration through the same eBiblio service, although not all.
If we already meet this requirement, we only have to access the platform and search for some content that we want to read or hear in the case of audiobooks. To do this, we have two different options: through a web browser or with the eBiblio application (available for both Android and iOS). The best thing about this dual system is that the data is synchronized, so we can use both without problems.
Once inside, we only have to look for what we want to read. Next to the content we will have a button with which we can borrow it, as well as a preview so that we can take a look at it beforehand and know if it will be to our liking. The type of content will determine the time that we can have it on loan , leaving the thing as follows:
- Electronic books : 21 days
- Audiobooks : 21 days
- Magazines : 24 or 48 hours
- Newspapers : 60 minutes
Returns are really simple, since we will not have to do anything for it . When the time that we are allowed to have the content elapses, it will automatically disappear from our profile, becoming available to another user. If you are interested in a certain book, eBiblio gives us the possibility to “reserve” , and when it is available we will receive an email notifying us of it.
Finally, we must add that eBiblio allows us to read all its content both online and offline, although for PC we will have to download the Thorium Reader software, which is free and allows us to read content in epub format on PC. eBiblio is also compatible with electronic books, although not with all: we will not be able to enjoy its content on Amazon Kindles .