Friday, March 18, 2011

Word is Getting Out: Ebooks @ Your Library

Virtual library: E-books mean no checkout, no fines.   A misleading headline.  (Janesville Gazette, 3/13/2011)

Excerpt: Hedberg, like all state libraries, is part of the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium. The consortium contracts with OverDrive, a distributor of e-books. Wisconsin is one of its largest customers.

The consortium has more than 100,000 items available to download, including audio books, videos and music.

The consortium started adding e-books to its collection in September. The books are from all genres and for all ages. Initially, librarians focused on buying classics and now are buying bestsellers and filling in series.

More than 4,000 e-books are available through the consortium.

When more than 10 holds are put on a book, the consortium adds another copy, just like at the traditional library. Readers are notified by e-mail when their books are available.

"This is a wonderful service from the state," Kuntzelman said.

The state pays for the infrastructure, which individual libraries could not afford.

The word about the library's e-books is getting out, and staff is beginning to schedule workshops.

Patrons checked out 57 e-books in September. That number increased to 175 in February

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