Wellbeing, Words

Feed your mind, the digital way. Libraries NI

March 10, 2018

When I am asked to partner with a brand my first thought/question is always, without hesitation “ Is this the right fit for me and my audience?”.

So ,when  libraries NI approached me – a name and facility which was a huge part of my childhood, my pregnancies, my marriage, the baby years with my first two boys-  I was immediately in and couldn’t wait to find out more for you.

Reading and writing ironically became my favourite thing to do after my years at School which was sadly a little late to pull the A grade I was predicted out of the bag for my incredible teacher, Mrs Black in Friends school Lisburn.

Nonetheless, I left with a C grade which showed what we already knew,  my art was always my priority. Now, I see art and writing as one. My Creativity stretches into writing and I feed my mind with reading and listening.

I designed a book cover for Pete Waugh a few years ago and we have started plans for a children’s book. I can’t wait to make more illustrations.

My eldest boy is an avid  reader and nothing brings me joy like his little head appearing at my bedside with the words “ Mum, I finished ‘Diary of the wimpy kid’. Also his re telling of the words he reads is a nice reminder to me that although he doesn’t share the same love for painting as his Mumma, he is a little creative storyteller. 

When we signed him up (using his daddy’s log in) to  libraries NI (scroll to the bottom now to use my by step guide and join for FREE to Libraries NI TODAY) my eldest boy was most excited about the ebook section. Digital reading was something we had never introduced him to despite his love for the ipad!!

I am a traditionalist at heart and the hardback copy will remain king – the smell of the library as you walk through the door, leafing through the pages of used tattered edges. Libraries are special places.

Regardless of my love for the old School formats in life, I have learned through the bustle of my everyday life and the fact that I have a pile of beautiful unread books at my bedside ( from “the art of being authentic “by Professor Stephen Joseph to “big little lies” by Lianne Moriarty. Both of which I adore but haven’t finished. ) shows that something had to change in order to get my “readers fix” amidst School runs, business meetings, workouts and meal times.

The revelation of audiobooks has changed my life in the past few months!!

I launched my art podcast two months ago and I am astounded by the reach it has. Global listens because of the power of digital media. A great deal of my business has been built using the digital world and although I value down time and “no digital days” I am game for using it correctly and benefiting from it. The audiobooks, magazine and ebooks on libraries NI have helped me to feel reconnected to the world of words and storytelling.

Instead of a box set on while I cook I have my audiobook on and again, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am so involved in the storyline of ‘All our wrong todays‘ by Elan Mastai that I hear every character as they have been intended by the writer. How powerful! Furthermore, I love that the author is often the one who narrates the book- the boys can’t believe David Walliams reads them a story at bedtime!!

I guess ,sometimes, in modern day society, whether we want to or not, we embrace multi tasking as part of the journey.

Multi tasking not always in a frantic uncontrolled way but in the sense that we sit on the train to commute with earbuds in and words filtering through from our smart phones. As aforementioned box sets on the ipad while we clean the house. It’s where we are at when we don’t have the peace and quiet of an arm chair and a fire. Saying that- my hubby and I listened to the end of  audiobook ‘The slightly annoying elephant‘ by David Walliams with our kids while the fire was lit and the dog around our feet. Sweet times.

Libraries NI has enriched our lives with audiobooks  I am so so thankful for this.

The baby is in day care three days a week and he loves story time. I love to know that he sits in a circle and listens to the girls as they share a story with him. His Nana had bought him Paddington bear books for Christmas and we were thrilled when we found them in the kids book section of libraries NI.

Can you sense my enthusiasm for this new wave in our lives? The fact that the ipad is used for something other than Peppa pig or youtube is a beautiful change.

The emagazine section on libraries NI is one worth checking out. In the past I would buy magazines and, like the novels, not read them. Or practically the dog would have torn the pages, baby dragged it into the bathroom where bath water seeps onto each page- you know the scene!

With the emagazines I can dip in and out and there are no fines for  late returns.

I used the recipe for meatless monday from the Vegeterian today emagazine. I rarely indulge in food magazines so I am enjoying the colour and variety I get from them.

My Mum was intrigued by the kids not fighting over the ipad as they were discussing the latest edition of their Match of the Day mag that we have her using Libraries NI on her ipad too. Reading from a kindle or using her ipad is new for Mum but she found a few old school detective and romance novels for herself.

Watch my video below with instructions on what to do and how to get started or follow my bullet points.

  1. Get your new Libraries NI membership number here
  2. Take note of it and give yourself a pin number
  3. If you are on a laptop or desktop once you have your membership number and pin you are all set to start browsing.
  4. If you are on an ipad or smart phone then download the Overdrive app for listening to your audiobooks and use the RBDigital app for your ebooks.
  5. Enjoy your fave books, emagazines and spread the FREE online love


My experience with Libraries NI has been a really positive one and I am looking forward to hearing about your experience as you feed your mind a little more, the digital way.

If you like my blog you have two options. You can get every post I have (normally three times a week max) to your inbox as they air. OR you can drop your e mail here on my website to get my fortnightly/sometimes monthly newsletter which includes some of my blogposts.


  • Reply Paula Lamb March 10, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for supporting Libraries NI…maybe I’ll see you browsing Bangor Carnegie’s shelves one day

    • Reply Aly March 10, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Paula, I have loved the journey and am so excited to have my mind fed without the worry of not finishing a book. I see everything in life as seasonal so this digital move is perfect or our season of life. I will certainly call in to Bangor shelves as my in laws live there ! Many thanks for all of your support

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