BorrowBox App

Activity 2: Learn to use BorrowBox App

Topic: Mobile technologies

borrowbox logo

This post will explain my experience in installing and using the BorrowBox app by Bolinda recently made available through my local library.

Newcastle Region Library has recently made available the BorrowBox app from Bolinda for accessing ebooks and audiobooks. I undertook the process to download the app from Google Play Store, borrow an audiobook, and then play the book though my car’s stereo (via bluetooth). The book I downloaded was The Billie B Brown Collection, written by Sally Rippin and read by Eloise Mignon. I had the option to download individual sections or download all – I chose to download all as it is more convenient for car travel to have each new story play automatically.

The app is simple to navigate with three icons for ‘myaccount’, ‘audiobook’ and ‘ebook’. Rural Libraries Queensland has an excellent step by step instruction guide. Click here to access.

BorrowBox provides a comprehensive list of titles across many categories including award winners, fiction, non-fiction, Australian authors and top 10 teen picks. The app allows 10 items to be loaned for a period of 2 weeks. Items can be returned before the 2 week period or renewed. If an item is unavailable, it can be put on reserve.

What did I learn?

I learnt the process for downloading the app, which was straight forward using my library card barcode and pin. I learnt how to use the app by experimenting with the functions including searching for titles, downloading and returning files. I also learnt that there are providers other than Bolinda that the library accesses for digital material.

How was the activity relevant to my professional practice as a librarian for children?

Children’s librarians need to know how to use and explain digital collections to parents and children. The content available is constantly increasing and librarians must be able to assist users and recommend digital resources. By using and experimenting with a new technology I understand the steps involved and can instruct others.

Were any gaps in my knowledge revealed? How might I fill those gaps?

Previously, to listen to audiobooks I had used CDs. Using the Bolinda app is a much more convenient way to access audiobooks. I was unaware how quick and simple the process would be. I need to improve my knowledge of digital collections and mobile technologies through investigating what is available from the library and using the tools.

Topic: Mobile technologies

Librarians need to be skilled in mobile technologies which are increasingly being used by the community, and are changing the way people “connect, communicate and use information” (Davis & Partridge, 2011). Smith (2015) reports that over 15 million Australians own a smartphone and usage rates are in excess of an hour a day. Consumer expectations have evolved to expect access to information anywhere and anytime.

Newcastle Region library has recently launched its own app for mobile devices.

library app

The features of the app include:

  • access to the catalogue to search, reserve, borrow or renew items from a mobile device;
  • information about library events via the “what’s on” link;
  • fast access to the library’s digital content; and
  • users can scan the barcode of a book anywhere and find out whether it is available from the library.

Librarians need to be creative, innovative and keen to explore new and relevant ways to interact with the community (Davis & Partridge, 2011). Adopting mobile technologies is one way libraries can address the challenge of remaining relevant to users, and serve the needs of the community.

BorrowBox: Your library in one app. (n.d.) Retrieved from:   
BorrowBox (n.d.). Retrieved from:
Davis, K. & Partridge, H. (2011). Apps and attitudes: Towards an understanding of the m-   librarian’s professional make-up. 3rd International m-libraries conference       proceedings, Brisbane, Queensland.
Our library app is now here. (2016) Retrieved from:   
Bolinda Digital – BorrowBox app. Rural Libraries Queensland (n.d.). Retrieved from: devices.pdf

Smith, A. (2015). Mobile Mania! Australian spend on average more than an hour a day on    their smartphones. On Nielson. Retrieved from:

About childrenslibrarianlearning

Masters student at CSU studying children's librarianship
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to BorrowBox App

  1. Samantha McLaren says:

    I have also recently been ‘experimenting’ with downloading resources from public libraries. I have been using both BorrowBox and OverDrive to use on a Microsoft Surface Tablet and also with an iPod. Initially it appeared that having an iPad was the ideal situation for ease of use with these content providers, but a recent update to OverDrive has made it a bit simpler to use my Microsoft Tablet. Sadly my kindle remains dormant with the exception of the occasional paid for download from Amazon as it is simply not compatible with available library digital content. I believe there is still a long way to go in terms of ease of usability across multiple platforms though it is improving. Digital content lending in libraries is on the increase due partly to improved access but also because of improved content (Pymm, Steed, & Burless, 2012).

    Pymm, B., Steed, S., & Burless, M. (2012, June). E-books, e-audio and public libraries: Is it lift off or steady as she goes? Paper submitted to LIDA 2012: CHANGES in the world of library services: Evolution and innovation Conference, Zadar, Croatia. Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s