By John Stawarz, Online Learning Librarian

Now that we’re finishing the fall semester and many of you are heading home, you might be wondering what to do to keep yourself busy over the long winter break. Check out something fun to read—or even listen to—with the great ebooks and audiobooks that public libraries (and Syracuse University Libraries) have to offer.

If you’re looking for something…well, more fun and less academic than what you usually access through SU Libraries, then I highly recommend exploring your local public library. The Onondaga County Public Library (OCPL), for example, offers access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download at no cost to your phone, tablet, or computer—everything from Harry Potter, current fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, and more. Many of the current best-selling fiction and nonfiction titles are also available through OCPL. I love using OCPL’s Libby app, which allows me to search for, borrow, and put ebooks and audiobooks on hold, all right from my smartphone.

Public libraries often offer additional services and resources as well, such as virtual events for all ages and interests, ancestry databases, and book clubs. For example, the OCPL branch library closest to my house offers personal book recommendations—a great service that helped me discover new graphic novels for my seven-year-old daughter. Registering for an OCPL library card, or for a library closer to where you will be located over break, can usually be done quickly online.

In addition to local public libraries, you could also check out your statewide library to find additional resources. For those of you who live in New York as either a permanent resident or a student, the New York Public Library (NYPL) is one of the best statewide library systems in the country. Like local public libraries, the NYPL offers a wide variety of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download on almost any device. Want to read an old classic such as Wuthering Heights? It’s available as both an audiobook and ebook! Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming? Available! The Testaments, Margaret Atwood’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale? Also currently available as both an audiobook and an ebook! The NYPL is also great for SU alumni, as it offers access to more than 800 databases, some of which are also offered through SU Libraries. Registering for an NYPL card is also quite easy and can be done online.

If you’re looking for something in your area of study, did you already know that SU Libraries also provide access to more than sixty databases offering ebooks? For example, the ProQuest eBook Central and Taylor & Francis eBooks databases offer ebooks related to almost every academic area here at Syracuse University, from communications studies to food science, international relations, and more. If you’d like to discover ebooks covering business, engineering, information technology, well-being and more, then try exploring our Skillsoft database. As with most of our online resources, all of these databases can be accessed remotely using your NetID and password.

If you enjoy an audiobook or ebook from these libraries, please let us know by tagging SU Libraries on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Wishing you all a safe and relaxing break!