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Library offers e-book checkout

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By Jesse Osbourne

 

Library patrons have a way to avoid late fees, if they’re hip to the technology.
For about a year now, the Washington County Public Library (WCPL) has offered an e-book lending program.
Patrons can check out a Sony Reader, an e-book reader, at the library, according to library director Joy Wandrey.

Books are pre-loaded on the reader. Right now the e-readers carry 39 titles.
Authors featured on the e-readers are Dean Koontz, Jodi Picoult, Stephanie Meyer, Isaac Asimov, Steig Larsson and Mary Higgins Clark.
“We are slowly adding more (titles),” Wandrey said. “We’ve been very cautious this last six months or so, as the digital rights have been changing so rapidly.”
Wandrey said the library stopped purchasing titles until digital rights become more stable.
“When things are up in the air, we don’t want to spend money on things we might not get the full use of,” she said.
She did say, however, that the library is in the process of joining “the state consortium for purchasing downloadable titles through Overdrive.”
“That service is currently available at Nelson County Public Library, and has gone over quite well there,” she said.
That means that in the future, patrons can download audio and book titles to their own e-readers through a website.
Those with a WCPL library card can browse the website, and if the e-book is downloadable, upload it to their own machine.
The library currently has four e-readers available for loan.
E-readers can be loaned out for a maximum of two weeks per person, which also happens to be the battery life of the machine.
If a patron wanted to renew the machine after two weeks, that person would have to bring the e-reader in to swap out for another.
“The nice thing is it’s an automatic return,” Wandrey said. “The timer goes off after two weeks, and ‘poof’ it goes away.”
Wandrey said interest in the e-book lending program has been greater than expected.
“We’ve been very pleased with it,” she said.
She added that she hoped people would take advantage of their online services, including an antique price guide database, a Chiltons car repair database and a Kentucky legal forms database.