By: Rick Limpert, Atlanta Gadgets Examiner
From Fulton to Cobb, libraries in and around Metro Atlanta are now offering ebooks, and library patrons couldn’t be more excited.
The number of ebooks being checked out of public libraries is doubling every six months, one recent survey stated.
Ebook reader sales took off late in 2011 with the help of Amazon’s Kindle line, the Nook which is offered by Barnes & Noble, and the fact that more and more people are now iPad owners.
Cobb’s number of “unique library card users” checking out e-books jumped by almost 31 percent from November to December. Public demand was so great that Dekalb’s Public Library system paid $10,000 out of its budget to begin offering e-books in December. This was tough to do, but it had to be done to stay current.
While ebooks account for a fraction of the total books checked out of libraries each month, the number is growing and public library systems are adding more titles by the day.
And current best sellers are in most demand. The most checked out e-book in Cobb County last year was “2nd Chance” by James Patterson. His releases are so popular that there is often a waiting ist for his thrillers.
Book publishers are also aware of the trends and are not releasing some titles to libraries as they feel it is cutting into book sales and their profits. “If you look at the list of the Top 100 [ranked] books on Amazon, libraries may only have access to about 20 of them to buy,” says Scott Smith of the DeKalb public library system.
In the long run, ebooks should help libraries with their bottom line. Library website visits are up and that means less time waiting in line to check out books, and less tasks for librarians to do on a daily basis.
Residents of Gwinnett have really taken to ebooks. The Gwinnett Library website is so easy to navigate and they’ve also improved the “search” feature when it comes to ebooks to make life easier for customers.
Yes, there are issues with lending out ebooks from libraries, but like anything else, once the technology is embraced by all involved and the kinks can be worked out, this is how most of us will be getting out books in the future.
We all need to read more and whether you desire ebooks or still like turning pages of paper books, you should visit your local library and get reading.
Rick Limpert, Atlanta Gadgets Examiner
Rick C. Limpert is a freelance writer and columnist in Atlanta. He’s a writer and photographer who has covered technology, sports, and events all over the world. His works have been featured in numerous print and online publications.