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Library News

By: Andrea Lhotka
For: Red Rock News
Date: April 1, 2011

Sedona Public Library Offers Free E-Books

The availability of suitable e-readers, diminishing costs and increasing selection of e-books has promoted a strong demand for them in 2011.   After a generous donation of e-readers to many of the libraries in Yavapai County, the network resolved to plunge into the e-book business.  The 2010 holiday season marked an unprecedented surge in e-book sales; in the case of Amazon, e-book sales outsold print.  According to Publisher’s Weekly, 2011 is estimated to see 1.3 billion dollars in consumer spending.      

Our growing Overdrive e-book collection at Sedona Public Library includes over 900 new, bestselling fiction and nonfiction titles.  From our website, go to “Find Books & More.” Select “eBooks & audiobooks” and click the icon “Download audiobooks & eBooks Overdrive.”  Since the e-book collection was launched we have circulated nearly 4,000 e-books in Yavapai County libraries alone.  Our most popular e-book is Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Feel free to let us know your recommendations. 

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project five percent of American adults own an e-reader; that translates into 15 million Americans.  The New York Times has taken notice and introduced an e-book bestseller list.  Is my e-reader or portable device compatible with library e-books?  Great question.  With the frequent introduction of new smart phones and e-reader devices, the list of compatible devices is constantly growing.  To find out if your device can support our free e-books go to the “Supported Portable eBook Devices” link on our Overdrive website.  Note the conspicuous absence of the Amazon Kindle from the list; regrettably, the most highly rated e-reader is not compatible with library e-books, at this time.

Downloading e-books onto an e-reader or portable device involves a learning curve; without a basic knowledge of computers and technology, downloading and transferring will likely present a challenge.  However you need not face it alone.  For help in downloading e-books check out the new “My Help” feature on Overdrive.  Find out in a few easy steps what software you need for your device and the system requirements.  Keep your e-book for 7, 14 or 21 days.  You set the lending period.  Note there are no renewals and each title can be checked out to only one patron at a time.  If another patron has it, you will have to put it on hold.  The average wait period is 12 days.  If you have been unable to secure your bestseller in print, try Overdrive.  Find your next fiction title online!
As e-books achieve mainstream approval, what will happen to print books?  Speaking for myself, I still enjoy the weight and feel of a printed book in my hands, the smell of the ink on paper and imagining those that came before to voraciously consume the wisdom lingering on the delicate folio pages.  The places we take our books, those personal moments we share, the love affair between the reader and print book will not diminish so easily because of a few e-books.  Some view this recent favorable reception of e-books as a portent of the death of print media.  However this seems highly unlikely in the conceivable future.  According to the January Publishers Weekly, 46 percent of e-reader device owners reported they will read more print books.

If you are interested in learning more about e-books and e-readers, are considering buying your own device or want to download an e-book come visit us at the library.  We can help! 

Andrea Lhotka
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Andrea Lhotka is Public Services Librarian of the Sedona Public Library.