December 22, 2014

District library offering e-books

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — Residents of Arenac County have to go no farther than their computers to check out bestselling books from the Iosco-Arenac District Library.

Thanks to a new service at the library, anyone carrying a library card from the district can download e-books and audio books to their home computer, select e-book readers and hand held devices.

Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper Diane Bushman said since the e-book service began being offered in March, the number of e-books being downloaded has increased.

“The number of people downloading e-books has increased faster than I ever expected,” she said.

Bushman said the Iosco-Arenac District Library began allowing library members to download audio books in January 2010.

There are currently 345 new and bestselling e-books available for download, as well as 770 audiobooks.

“We thought that allowing people to download e-books would be the next step for us,” she said. “This is something that is catching on across the nation.”

Bushman said those interested in downloading an e-book can only do so from their own computers, not library computers.

“We just don’t have the bandwidth in our buildings to support the downloading of e-books,” she said.

Bushman reassured library goers that end of hardcover books has not come just because the Iosco-Arenac District Library is offering e-books.

“People still love the hard cover books,” she said. “They still find that they are more comfortable with a regular book in hand. I believe the younger generations will find (e-books) appealing.”

“E-books are just a different way for people to read,” she added.

Bushman said that after an e-book or audiobook is downloaded, it will automatically expire at the end of its lending period.

“This way there will be no late fees for people,” she said. “We will be adding new (e-books and audiobooks) every three months.”

Bushman said there is a limit to the number of downloads for an e-book.

“We offer one book, per one checkout,” she said. “That means that if a person has checked out an e-book, another person cannot download it until the other person is finished with it.”

The e-book lending service is provided by OverDrive, a Cleveland-based company that distributes e-books, audiobooks, and other digital content.

Bushman said when the district looked at e-book downloading services, they chose to pick a plan that allowed its libraries to carry more titles.

“That meant we could only allow the one book, one checkout system,” she said.

Bushman said that people can also download e-books for free by visiting the Michigan e-Library at mel.org.

“Books that are in the public domain are available for anyone to download,” she said.

To download an e-book or an audiobook, or to see if your e-book reader is compatible, visit www.ioscoarenaclibrary.org.

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