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Library offers the latest in technology

March 30, 2012

Library patrons can now use their computers to access hundreds of eBook and audiobook titles.

eBooks, digital audiobooks now available to BPL patrons
BREMEN — Technology is ever moving forward and in turn, libraries are changing with the times, offering their patrons the very latest conveniences available.
Bremen Public Library has gotten on board recently adding digital audiobooks and eBooks to their collection. Shelli Kauffman, head of Adult Services said the Bremen library administrators are simply attempting to fill a need.
“In the last six to 12 months our patrons have showed an interest in us being able to offer them titles they could read from their gadgets,” she said. “…Everyone is looking for that new toy to play with and many people are buying Nooks, iPads, Kindles or receiving them as gifts.”
She said reading from personal devices, including MP3 players, Androids, Blackberries, Sony Readers, iPods, iPhones and more is as easy as visiting the library’s site and following and clicking on the prompts — though patrons might have to download Adobe Digital in order for the program to run on their particular device.
“It really is easy,” Kauffman explained. “With the OverDrive program you can find out which titles are available for which specific devices. It walks you throughout the process and there are troubleshooting guides for each device for those that are still struggling with it.”
Downloading titles also help patrons in other ways of convenience. “They never have a late fee because when their rental period is over, they disappear from their device,” Kauffman said. “Titles can be put on hold … but like visiting the library live, there are only so many copies available.”
She said titles vary in category from children’s books to the latest mysteries but that because digital book titles’ licenses have to be purchased, there are a limited number the library can afford for their patrons to digitally borrow — and titles will be added as the budget allows. Many classics can be found through the technological devices’ applications for free — without even having to go through the library and that a list of them can be found at the libraries website after clicking on the OverDrive box and then scrolling to the bottom (on the left).
But those the library has access to is because it is in a purchasing consortium with 31 other libraries (including the Plymouth, Argos, Starke County and Pulaski County libraries) so that readers and audiobook listeners can choose from more titles than they would be able to otherwise.
“If we weren’t in this consortium with the other libraries, we wouldn’t be able to afford to purchase as many licenses as we have,” Kauffman said. “…It’s new to all of us so we haven’t had a lot of feedback but we are really excited about being able to offer it.”
Kauffman said offering the eBooks and digital audiobooks allows patrons to stay home and for the elderly, offers a twofold advantage. “On their device, they can make the type as large as they need to to be able to see it better,” she explained. “And it’s easier for many who have trouble holding a book or turning its pages to have it on their iPad, Nook or Kindle.”
Kauffman said that while BPL will continue to move forward, she believes “technology will never be able to do away with libraries or books.” Patrons also still have to keep track of their library card because they need the numbers from it to log onto the lending site.
Bremen library patrons can call 574-546-2849, visit 304 N. Jackson St., Bremen, visit its website at www.bremen.lib.in.us or visit its Facebook page to learn more.

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