The James V. Brown Library and the public libraries of the North Central Library District are making it easy to download e-books to devices with Overdrive, a website that offers audiobooks and e-books.
There are thousands of titles available for free at ebranch2go .lib.overdrive.com.
"The site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep up with readers' demands," said Melissa Rowse, North Central Library District consultant. "We want patrons to visit us, but they can choose to download a bestseller to their device and enjoy the electronic version without leaving their home."
The ebranch2go website is offered by a consortium of the 40-member district libraries across the 11-county library region.
Sue Mayshock, the library's audio-visual specialist, offers technology help outside the library from 2 to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at Panera Bread, 202 Basin St.
"Many of us still like to browse a library building, but I always like to have something to read when I am waiting," said Robin Glossner, the James V. Brown Library development director. "My e-reader already has several books on it, and it is small enough to carry at all times."
ebranch2go offers an online demonstration to teach patrons how to use OverDrive, how to download e-books and how to transfer the titles to their e-reader. The program also provides an overview on hardware and software requirements.
Thanks to a donation from the Friends of the James V. Brown Library, many library staffmembers now have mobile devices for use so they can help become familiar with and help patrons learn how to use new technology.
The Friends also provided the funds to expand the number of e-book titles available.
"Many of our patrons received an e-reader for Christmas gift and we have been helping them learn about their new tech toys," Mayshock said.
It's just one way the library helps open new doors to learning for residents in the community and ensures the preservation of public library services for future generations.