Users can remotely access the collection on smart devices and tablets using an Apple and Android-compatible e-reader app called Libby; to access, you simply need to be a member of your local council library, or Adelaide City Libraries. If you’re not, it takes all of a few minutes to do. Trust us.
“I was talking to an Uber driver once, and he said to me, ‘you work in a library – I want to read Kurt Vonnegut, but there are no books on the shelf!’. And I said, ‘I have them as ebooks, or you could listen to Vonnegut himself reading his own audiobook’. I showed him how to get a digital membership, and then it was done. He could listen while waiting for the next fare.”
Along with Vonnegut (timely reading, by the way), the catalogue largely mirrors your local library’s collection, from buzzy recent titles like Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror & The Light or Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror to rainy day classics like Little Women. But, there’s also scope to be more eclectic and flexible. “We’re going with all the popular titles that we can purchase; you’re going to have the bestsellers, but then there’s also the back catalogue where you can have a lot of breadth and depth as well.
“We’ve just put a lot of classics in there. If you’re looking at kids’ stuff, today I just created a whole collection for learning from home – that’s what many kids are doing now. It’s not just fiction, but STEM resources, arts and crafts, activities – I found a title called Junk Drawer Physics, so people stuck at home can do science experiments.”
While much of the state’s library network has ground to a halt, Wilson has been busy curating more collections of titles to help fill those freshly-abundant idle hours over the coming months. “We’ve put together a collection of simple cook books, a home learning collection, a collection on ANZAC Day – obviously the ANZAC march and dawn services won’t be happening,” she says, before listing off collections covering South Australian writers, Adelaide Writers’ Week guests, graphic novels, and more.