This morning's New York Times explores the phenomenon of downloadable books and audio as provided by the public library. Seems the Times has decided that this is an idea that's taking off!
Eager to attract digitally savvy patrons and capitalize on the growing popularity of electronic readers, public libraries across the country are expanding collections of books that reside on servers rather than shelves.
The idea is to capture borrowers who might not otherwise use the library, as well as to give existing customers the opportunity to try new formats.
“People still think of libraries as old dusty books on shelves, and it’s a perception we’re always trying to fight,” said Michael Colford, director of information technology at the Boston Public Library. “If we don’t provide this material for them, they are just going to stop using the library altogether.”
Waukesha County public libraries have offered these services for years. More and more library patrons are discovering the convenience of services such as NetLibrary which allows the download of books for conventional reading, and OverDrive, which offers downloadable audio.
Interested in NetLibrary? It's a great source of research material and other non-fiction. Ask any librarian to set up an account for you, which can then be accessed from your own computer.
OverDrive requires the download and installation of a media console on the user's computer--a quick, easy operation. Once that's done, the world of downloadable audio (and video) is at your fingertips.
Ask any librarian for more information on these two services.