Libraries Joining the E-book Parade

by Steve Zalusky

Libraries are creatures of adaptation. This is particularly true as people drift away from hardcover and paperback books and move toward getting their reading done on electronic devices.

An article in the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post recently announced that the West Palm Beach Library was lending e-books.

City Librarian Chris Murray is quoted saying, "Last Christmas was the year of the e-book device. Everybody got some kind of e-reader for Christmas. I think some of our use, people checking bestsellers, diminished as people were interested to read them on the new device."

The article says users can also download the books onto a cellphone or view them on the Web, even if they don't have an e-reader.

Some libraries are going beyond just responding to the e-book trend.

The New York Public Library is even giving the current a little shove by rolling out a strategy to educate users about e-readers.

The library recently unveiled eBook Central, which instructs users on how use the library's digital collections on their iPad, Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader.

This week, the library is encouraging users to bring their devices to the library and receive assistance from staff.

The website lists several devices that apply, along with the following topics:

  • Accessible eBooks
  • Arts
  • Audiobooks
  • E-Reader Buying Guides
  • For Kids and Teens
  • Free eBooks
  • I ♥ NYC
  • Podcasts and Streaming Content Researchers

This is just one example of how libraries are not only adapting to the digital world, but also encouraging participation.

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