Ebooks and EMagazines from UK Libraries

Recently, I got an opportunity to live in a small village called “Leek” in Staffordshire Council, for few weeks.

It is very small, peaceful, but modern village. Walking around the streets itself will give great peace to the mind.

Library is the first place I like to explore on the places I do. To my wonder, this village has a great library filled with books in all genres, computers for public usage, various activities for toddlers, reading groups, IT training for adults etc.

Spent most of the times with the magazines and rare collections there.

one day, I shouted “Wow” on seeing this poster.

Announcement on Free Digital magazines in Staffordshire Council Library, UK

Announcement on Free Digital magazines in Staffordshire Council Library, UK


hehehe. Not about the girl on the poster.

How can a library lend digital books and magazines?

I asked the staff  and they wanted me to become a member of the library to avail this facility.

“Oh Sure.”¬† I said, as the membership is free.

Got membership card and PIN number to login to their site.



These are the links that provide great collection of digital books.

E-magazines are only in PDF format. But we can read them with a big tablet. The collections of magazine is great and they are adding more. We get very latest magazines in all genres.

Most of the Ebooks are in epup format and few in PDF. Both the ebooks and emagaines are DRM enabled. We have to use “Aldiko” app for ebooks and “Zino for libraries” for magazines.

The ebooks and emagazines can be lend for 21 days maximum. They disappear after the specific days.

Though I hate DRM, I like these facilities that Staffordshire library is giving for the public. It seems the department of libraries is paying for the publishers. The public get free, latest ebooks to read on their devices.

I explored libraries of NewCastle, Nottingham, Manchester. They have great libraries. but they dont provide ebooks services. Staffordshire libraries are very innovative on this. They provide membership only for people living in UK.

Thinking on when will we get such systems in India? What we have to do to for this?

Is it possible to get free ebooks in India, but authors and publishers are paid by dept of libraries?

Share your thoughts in comments.


Streets of Nottingham – Community driven Play Groups for Toddlers

Play Groups are the good concept practiced across UK for many decades. Play Group is a community driven Playschool for kids. An internet search will give the playgroups details around any place in UK.

Play group is a weekly once, two hour fun activities for kids, rub by major Churches. There is a big hall, filled with many toys, books for kids to play. Parent/care taker should be with the kid. They can sit on the chair around the hall and monitor the kids. The parents meet regularly and become friends here.

The PlayGroup team provides fruits, biscuits and drink for the kids. Kids sit together and the parents feed them. There is a kitchen where we can buy Tea/Coffee/Bread toast for low cost (40 Penny).

After some play time, the grandmas here teaches kids to sing and dance.

Every week, there will be some activity like painting, clay modelling, play with sand etc.

They charge 1 Pound and it is really worth for the facilities they provide for the kids and parents.

After the time is over, all parents clean the area together.

In Nottingham, near city center, there are 2 play groups run by two churches and one play group run by Central Library.

In UK, we can send kids to playschools, after 2 years only. Govt runs the playschools. The private schools are so costly.

I enjoy taking Viyan to the playgroup activities and he enjoys playing with other kids and huge toys there.

I dont know, why this system is not implemented in chennai.
I am thinking of creating playgroups in Tambaram once we are back.

The following are needed to create a play group:

1. A safer place, like huge hall in a home, a temple with facilities to keep the toys
2. It is good to have rest rooms, kitchen
3. A team of volunteers to manage the playgroup
4. Initial fund to buy good toys, books
5. A small amount like 10 Rs can be charged for every session
6. Weekly two hours is enough to start with
7. Publicise the Playgroup in local newspapers
8. Share your playgroup details in a blog so that search engines can find you.

This can be done anywhere in chennai, even anywhere in India.

There are govt kids schools in rural areas. But not in chennai.

But, running a community driven play group can give more facilities, more toys, more books, more activities, great collaboration with parents etc.

If you are interested in starting a playgroup, share your details here. Let us work together.

Start a playgroup in your area and share your experience.

Few snaps from the Play group at Life at the Center, Nottingam.