Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Area Libraries Open New Digital ‘Branch’

Patrons can download e-books, e-audiobooks to devices

Libraries in the Cooperative Information Network (CIN) have added a new online “branch” providing downloadable digital books and audiobooks available 24-hours a day.
This new service, powered by OverDrive, is free for patrons with a resident library card. Patrons can browse the available books by visiting their library’s website where they will be directed to the “CIN Digital Downloads” page. Users will need to install free software on their computers or wireless-equipped reading devices.
The system is compatible with most popular devices including Kindle, iPad, iPod, Nook, and others. In addition, audiobooks can be downloaded to computers and burned to a CD or transferred to an MP3 player. The system is designed for use with patrons’ devices rather than with Internet computers in area libraries.
The checkout time for digitally downloaded items will be up to two weeks. As with library books, only one copy of a digital item may be checked out at a time.
Instructions on using the OverDrive system are available online and printed instructions are available at participating libraries.
CIN startup costs for the program were provided by the Library Network and through grants from the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. Libraries in CIN can budget or seek additional grants to expand the digital collection in the future.
Coeur d’ Alene Public Library Director Bette Ammon said, “We’ve been working on getting eBook content into the hands of our users for the past several years. The partnership with the Library Network has made it happen.”
John Hartung, Director of the district library system, agreed. “A soft launch at the beginning of October indicates how popular this service will be. We have already seen more than 50 percent of the collection checked out.”
For more information visit a participating library or its website.