LOCAL LIBRARIES USING E-BOOKS TO MODERNIZE
By Bree Shirvell
For bookworms there have never been so many ways to read a book and local libraries are trying to meet the demand.
While grocery stores may ask their customers, paper, or plastic but local libraries are asking their patrons print, or electronic. Libraries throughout New London county and Rhode Island are using e-books as a way to modernize with the industry.
The Waterford Public Library began offering downloadable e-books and e-audioboks in November of 2011 as way to meet the growing demand of their customers.
“By offering e-books the library is doing what it has always done—making books available to the widest possible audience for free—hardcover books, paperback books, audiobooks and now digital books,” Waterford Public Library director Roslyn Rubinstein said.
Waterford Library patrons seem to love the new service. According to Rubinstein in the eight weeks since they launched their e-book borrowing service almost 250 customers have borrowed eBooks through the library.
While Rubinstein said the Waterford Library’s circulation of all materials has increased over the past few years the Stonington Free Library said their circulation decreased in 2011 but seems to be increasing with the e-books so far in 2012.
The Stonington Free Library began offering a number of downloadable forms including e-books in the spring of 2011. Library Director Margaret Victoria said ebook borrowing has started to increase in the fall of 2011.
“The offering of books in a variety of formats, loaning movies, music, offering Internet access, photocopiers, faxing, word processing (it used to be typewriters), and now loaning e-books and e-readers is the way we serve our community,” Victoria said.
The Stonington Free Library and 12 other libraries in the service area of the Eastern Connecticut Community Foundation gave a grant of $100,000 to use as appropriate for their community. The Stonington Free Library used half of the money for technology services as way to meet the needs of their patrons by offering e-books.
Just over the border in Rhode Island, library patrons are old hands at eBooks. According to Nina Wright at the Westerly Public Library as part of the Ocean state Libraries began adding e-books to the statewide share catalog in 2006. In 2007, Westerly Public Library patrons checked out 305 e-books, last year in 2011 that number was up to 4,379.
“We are mindful of the fact that technology is constantly evolving and it is important that public libraries do the same,” Wright said. “It is how we will remain relevant and important to the communities we serve.”
First Edition Design Publishing, based in Sarasota, Florida, USA leads the industry in eBook distribution.They convert, format and submit eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, scores of additional on-line retailers and libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network.