E-book downloads nearly quadruple at area libraries

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The rapidly growing e-reader market proved popular in the past year at Augusta area libraries, where the number of e-book downloads nearly quadrupled.

Patrons of the East Central Georgia Regional Library system checked out more than 2,000 e-books in May. In May 2011, just 552 were checked out, said Sherryl James, the community service librarian.

James expects e-book checkouts to continue growing as people become more accustomed to the technology and services offered. Patrons make downloads from home or other places without going to a library branch.

“A lot of people still aren’t aware we have e-books for Kindles, Nooks and generic e-readers,” James said. “It’s a convenient way to get your hand on a book.”

The library system uses Georgia Download Destination, an online database with more than 2,300 e-books, including best-sellers, fiction and nonfiction titles. In Columbia County, the library uses a system called NetLibrary.

E-books are available on the e-readers for a certain time period, either seven or 14 days. The database has a limited number of copies of each book, and patrons can put a book on hold until it becomes available, James said.

“It operates almost just like having a book on the shelf,” she said.


For more information about using the e-book system, visit www.ecgrl.org and click on “Audiobooks/E-books” on the right side under resources. Users must be registered members of an area library.

The main library headquarters, 823 Telfair St., is holding a class on learning to download e-books to any e-reader. The hourlong class is at noon July 18. For more information, call (706) 821-2600.

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Riverman1 06/20/12 - 07:00 pm
This is only the beginning.

This is only the beginning. Brick and mortar libraries are dinosaurs. What is needed now as the push to online libraries begins is one national concern where the community pays according to its size and number of "check-outs." Private enterprise could get something like that goind.

If that lady in the bookmobile who used to come down the road every two weeks in SC when I was growing up could see us now. E-books and online libraries are electronic bookmobiles reaching those who would never use a regular library.

Dudeness 06/20/12 - 09:11 pm
Number of e-books checked out

This number would be a whole lot higher if more of each book were available. The time or two that I looked into checking out an ebook from the library, I found that the waiting lists for many of the books were extremely long.

Phoenix11 06/21/12 - 05:13 pm

Libraries will be around for decades. Unfortunately, not all people can afford an e-reader, Internet access or computers. If books and information deliveryy is limited to such an exclusive means--many will not have access to information.

Private Companies are out for profit --downloadable books will never be totally free. The library pays (taxpayers dollars) for access to the limited titles available through their system. There is a wait for the books ---because of cost.

As someone that owns a Kindle--I know the books cost $9.99 to $12.99. I hope there is never a choice that a parent has to make ---Jane Eyre or food on the table. Reading and access to information must remain free to all.

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