Expanding public libraries’ collections
Thousands of downloadable e-books, audiobooks augment local libraries’ collections
Published: June 8, 2014
Sayre Public Library Director Kimberly DeRemer says she might be reading an e-book on her smartphone while eating her lunch in a park.
Other people download audiobooks onto their smartphones, and then use a cable to link the smartphone to a port in their car, in order to listen to the audiobook through the vehicle’s speakers while driving on a trip.
Still others plug in a pair of headphones to their smartphone or tablet in order to listen to an audiobook that they’ve downloaded onto the device.
These are some of the ways that Bradford County residents make use of the thousands of e-books and thousands of audiobooks that are available for download, free of charge, from any local public library’s website onto their smartphones, tablets, computers and e-readers, DeRemer said.
“We would like to boost circulation of (downloadable) audiobooks and e-books and make people aware of these services,” she said.
Currently, staff from all nine public libraries in Bradford County are working to achieve these goals, said June Houghtaling, a district consultant with the North Central Library District. All 40 public libraries in the North Central Library District, including all of the libraries in Bradford County, are participating in a contest to see if the North Central District libraries can achieve a circulation of downloadable audiobooks and e-books this month that is at least 25 percent higher than it has ever been in the past, Houghtaling explained.
The highest circulation in the past had occurred in January, when the district circulated 9,856 e-books and audiobooks, she said.
The contest is sponsored by OverDrive, which is the district’s distributor of e-books and audiobooks.
If the district achieves the goal, it will be eligible for prizes that include free e-books and audiobooks that can be added to the district’s ever-growing collection, according to a press release from the library district.
While smartphones are small devices, DeRemer said it is a good experience reading books on them. You can control the size of the type, and it’s easy to “turn” the pages of the e-book, she said.
“It’s a nice way to always have a book with you,” she said.
All public libraries in Bradford County have a link on their websites to EBranch2Go, which is an online library of thousands of free downloadable e-books and audiobooks, DeRemer said.
Among the e-books available at EBranch2Go are “The Fault in our Stars,” by John Green, which was made into a movie, and the Divergent series, which are very popular, she said.
The Divergent series are also available as audiobooks.
One advantage of downloading an audiobook or e-book is that they are automatically “returned” when the two-week borrowing period expires, so you never have to worry about paying a fine, DeRemer said.
How to download an e-book
You need an “app” to make your smartphone, tablet or other device capable of running downloadable e-books.
One of the easiest of these apps to use is the Kindle App, which is a free app that is available at amazon.com and at your device’s app store, Sayre Public Library Director Kimberly DeRemer said.
According to amazon.com, the Kindle App is available for every major smartphone, tablet and computer.
If you are using the Kindle App, you will need to have an account at amazon.com, DeRemer said. Most people already have an account at amazon.com, she said.
Amazon.com “is a very secure site to use,” and you don’t need to make a purchase at amazon.com to establish the account, she said.
Your amazon.com account will function as a kind of online “circulation desk” where you will “check out” the items you’ve decided to borrow, she said.
To borrow an e-book or audiobook, go to any public library’s website in Bradford County, and click on the link to“EBranch2Go,” which is an on-line library of e-books and audiobooks.
You will need to enter the number on your public library card to access EBranch2Go.
When you have found an e-book or audiobook that you want, click on “Borrow,” “which will take you to your amazon account to check out, DeRemer said.
The e-book or audiobook will download wirelessly to your smartphone or other device.
If you need assistance at the EBranch2Go site, click on the Help button and then click on OverDrive Help, she said.
“If you are doing this at home, or if you are by yourself, the Help button is very, very user-friendly,” she said.
The OverDrive Help provides help for downloading e-books and audiobooks onto each specific type of device.
The public should also feel welcome to get assistance from the any library’s staff in downloading items.
“Anybody should feel welcome to walk into a library, and one of the library’s employees will walk them through every step of downloading an e-book or audiobook onto their device,” DeRemer said.