|Library materials now available 24/7|
|Wednesday, February 06, 2013 3:05 PM|
“In some ways it’s like the library is open 24 hours,” library employee Doris Suever said. “Patrons can go online with their pin number and library card and download content and place holds. If you’re like me and you want to read it now, you can narrow the search to show only available items.”
In a world where it seems like everyone has a digital reader, be it a Kindle, tablet, iPod or smart phone, it was only a matter of time before local libraries started offering digital content in addition to traditional materials.
“People will save money with the eBooks because previously they’ve always had to buy them,” Suever said. “Kindle is the easiest and most compatible reader to use with this system but you don’t have to have a reader; you can read the eBooks right there on your computer browser.”
“If there’s a certain title that a patron would like to read, they can suggest it to us,” she said. “We have a certain amount we have to spend on eBooks and so we’ll be interested in attaining more. Each title can only be checked out so many times before we have to re-new and repurchase it.”
Another convenient thing about downloading materials at home is there are no late fees. Titles simply disappear once the due date arrives.
Users may need to use new software to download content, such as OverDrive Media Console for audiobooks, music and video, and Adobe Digital Editions to read e-books.
Digital content aside, patrons now have access to millions of books and other physical items from 86 other libraries in the SEO Consortium, which Rist says arrive quickly.
“We’ve had the interlibrary loan for a long time and patrons never had to wait very long for materials to arrive but this may be even quicker,” she said. “You can go into the catalog and request items from other libraries and it comes in a couple of days.”
As technology advances, the methods the library uses to notify patrons of upcoming due dates have advanced as well.
“Most people check their e-mail, so we can send notifications that way,” Rist said. “We’re also trying to get cell numbers, because patrons seem to enjoy getting reminders in texts. Notices can still be sent by mail; we give them the option.”
Patrons are encouraged by the library staff to come in and explore the new system and ask questions.
“Some of the patrons really like it so far,” Suever said. “Others have found it challenging. If you have any questions, just come in and ask.”