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Online library provides Airmen education, entertainment

Airman 1st Class John Harris, Maintenance Operations Squadron maintenance scheduler, reads a book at Dover Air Force Base's Base Library. The library offers a wide variety of classes, Web access, newspaper articles and magazines, downloadable audiobooks, study guides and books to help prepare for college level examination program exams and language-learning software, all of which is available at no cost. (U.S. Air Force/Tom Randle)

Base libraries offer a wide variety of services for all Airmen, but online information iis becoming more available on mobile devices and home computers. (Photo by Tom Randle)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO -- RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Need assistance working on a class project, learning a new language or fixing an engine? Look no further than the online Air Force library, where Air Force library staff work to meet customers' needs.

The online Air Force library offers resources such as electronic books, audio books, digital magazines, music, movies and much more.

"These resources are available to total force Airmen, civilians, retirees and family members," said Marjorie Buchanan, Air Force Personnel Center libraries branch chief. "Offering these materials online helps nurture ongoing self improvement and can contribute to academic success."

To access the online Air Force library click on the library tab on the Air Force Portal's navigation bar. Programs include OverDrive, Zinio Digital Magazines, MyiLibrary eBooks, Safari Books Online, OneClickDigital, CultureGrams, MorningStar, Peterson's Education Resource Center, Transparent Language Online, Universal Class and more.

Programs like OverDrive and Zinio Digital Magazines provide users a way to borrow reading material just like a library.

OverDrive provides users 24-hour-a-day access to an online collection of electronic books, audio books, videos and music. Following the creation of an account, users are just a click away from borrowing a title which suits their interest. Members and dependents who do not have a ".mil" email address must visit their nearest Air Force joint base or Air Force base library for account access.

"OverDrive is very similar to an Air Force base library online catalog," explained Buchanan. "Once a customer sets up an account, they have a variety of resources available. The OverDrive digital library includes downloadable audio books, eBooks, music and videos. These titles are used on a variety of devices including computers, iPods, eBook readers, MP3 players and more. The collection includes fiction, nonfiction, and young adult titles. Additionally, Air Force users can customize their checkout time to fit their needs with maximum 14-day checkouts on most titles. OverDrive also provides a free OverDrive application allowing users to access the Air Force collection on the go."

Zinio Digital Magazines has more than 650 popular news and special interest digital magazines online available to download to a personal computer, app-enabled tablet or smartphone. Items can be downloaded and read offline.

"The Air Force Library Program databases, Zinio and OverDrive, are vital to the military community by providing a central location where Air Force members can access titles regardless of where they are stationed or the time of day," said Buchanan. "The Air Force Library OverDrive collections are tailored to the Air Force community providing the current and past chief of staff reading lists and several self-help topics while offering current bestsellers recommended by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for personal enhancement."

The online Air Force library also offers a wealth of knowledge through education, special interest and news programs.

"Programs like Universal Class Program offer more than 540 online courses in 30 different subject areas," Buchanan explained. "Other offerings include Encyclopedia Britannica - Academic Edition online for research, auto repair references for those who like to do repairs on their own, and even a database to inform the reader about detailed cultural information on more than 200 countries."

To register and access these online programs, go to the Air Force Portal and click on the word "Library" in the navigation bar, or visit your installation library.

For more information about Air Force libraries and other quality of life programs, go to www.usafservices.com or www.myairforcelife.com. For information about other personnel issues, visit https://mypers.af.mil.