The brick and mortar libraries are closed for now, but online, the Genesee District Library (GDL) is open and ready to serve.

“The GDL provides access to e-books, audiobooks, music, magazines and even some streaming television and movie content through our library,” said Ryan Tackabury, digital services librarian. “All you need is the barcode on the back of your library card and your PIN.”

He suggests starting at thegdl.org/digital to see what they offer. The content is available for use over several free apps, many of which can be installed on most phones or tablets. These include Libby, Hoopla, Freegal, RBDigital and Overdrive (for Kindle Fire).

Tackabury is available to assist patrons with getting set up for digital content. He said readers can leave a voicemail at (810) 230-3336 or go to thegdl.org/digitalhelp.

The GDL is working on a pilot program for new library card registration online. Anyone interested can send a submission at the GDL website. Go to the “contact us” section to inquire.


Tackabury said the most popular service is Libby, which allows borrowing up to seven e-books or audiobooks at one time, and has a large collection of reading material for all ages. Like real books, only a certain number of digital copies can be borrowed at once. However, he said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” has been made available for the Libby service.

Movies and TV

Library service Hoopla allows one to check out up to six digital items like e-books every month. Hoopla also offers access to audiobooks, movies and some TV shows. “My current recommendation is for something relaxing to watch on Hoopla in this stressful time,” said Tackabury. He suggests “The Great British Baking Show.”


RBDigital allows library patrons to view digital versions, new and previous editions, of magazines for free. National Geographic, Bon Appétit, Popular Science, Martha Stewart Living, Reader’s Digest are a few examples.


To stream music through the library, use Freegal. Tackabury said Freegal allows five free song downloads per week to keep. “Like all of our other services, this is all completely free,” he said. “My current Freegal album recommendation: ‘Father of The Bride’ by Vampire Weekend, which recently won the Grammy for Best Alternative Album.”

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