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E-Books at Your Library

January 02, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Hopefully, the word is getting out that the Monroe County Public Library System provides FREE downloadable e-books. The public libraries in the county submit orders individually, which then become one big collection, all of which is available to all cardholders. Even though digital files are infinitely reproducible, we must use the paper book model of one borrower at a time checking out a book. Though you may reserve books, currently they are not renewable.

I use the term big collection a little loosely. As of November 29, there were approximately 9500 e-books in our collection. This is a new service for us, and it will take time to build, but time is not the biggest problem. Currently, six of the largest publishers in the United States will NOT sell e-books to libraries. If you’ve been wondering why we don’t have the best seller you want, that is why. Even more frustrating for many are books in a series. We may be able to buy the early/later titles, and then the author changes publishers and we can’t provide the older/newer titles. Some publishers have tripled the price for an e-book compared to print.

I am confident this will all work out. This is a new world for publishers too, and we are making up the rules as we go along.

Many libraries, including ours, offer workshops on using your e-readers with library books. We have very helpful pamphlets available, and there are videos to help you on the library web site.

Virginia Cooper
Adult Services Librarian

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