Libraries Expand Digital Content

Hope to attract more readers

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In an effort to attract readers, libraries have increased the amount of digital content they offer including books, music, and movies that can be downloaded by patrons to a computer or mobile device for free.

To access the program users need a library card, access to the Internet and some downloadable software such as Adobe Digital Edition, the Mobipocket Reader or the OverDrive Media Console.

By visiting a library’s Web site users can choose titles, add them to a digital book bag and click the download button. Titles that are not available can be placed on hold to download later.

The digital content will remain on a computer for one to three weeks depending on the library and title, saving a return trip to the library.

One of the major distributors to libraries is OverDrive, which has licensing deals with publishers HarperCollins and Random House along with some music labels.

David Burleigh, OverDrive’s director of marketing, told Reuters the company has a catalog of 100,000 titles, works with around 7,500 libraries and has had millions of downloads of its media player and digital checkouts.

"We also know we are touching only a small percentage of each library’s patrons. Everyone we talk to is like ‘Wow, you do that?’" he says. "It’s a like this nice secret, that we of course don’t want to be kept secret."

Besides staying up to date with technology, libraries like the digital content because it does not take up shelf, something that is an issue for many libraries.

Libraries Expand Digital Content
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  • http://www.resourceshelf.com Gary Price

    Digital content available for free (for research purposes) is hardly new. This article (more than three years old) from Beta News talks about massive databases of content that are available to the researcher 24×7. All that’s needed is a library card.


  • http://www.lightingsupply.com/incandescent_bulbs/par_br_shaped_bulbs/locomotive_headlight_par_56.aspx Locomotive Headlight

    I wish my library would do this….sounds like a great idea!!!

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