The county library system has joined with the South Jersey Library Cooperative and 15 other libraries to offer popular fiction, classics, biographies, nonfiction, teen and children’s books to patrons this way, according to Deborah Poillon, assistant director.
As of Feb. 6, library cardholders could access the site for this download service by just going on the library’s Web site.
According to Poillon, it “has an excellent help section that explains how to do the downloads, what players are compatible, etc.”
Users need a fast Internet connection and can only download from home computers. If there is a demand, said Poillon, the library will consider making one of its computers at the main branch available for this service, but that won’t happen for six months or so.
Four titles can be “checked out” at a time and the books stay accessible on the user’s computer for 14 days. Titles cannot be renewed.
But for those who can burn CDs, and have MP3, PDA, iPod or similar listening devices, the book can be transferred from computers to those devices for even more convenience.
According to Poillon, there are 551 titles now available and that amount should double within the year.
“One hundred of those titles will always be available,” she said, since the publisher charges a flat fee for all of its books. “The other titles will be like regular books â€” there may be one or two copies and if they are checked out, then they aren’t available.”
Those publishers charge by title said Poillon and “patrons can request titles that are currently checked out,” just like with books. There is no charge to patrons; the library pays these costs.
Poillon suggests calling the library at 463-6350 if more information is need.
“We’ve had several people on staff download books already and everyone felt it was easy,” she said. She said that she had downloaded books for herself without a problem.
Since 24,000 books on CD or tape were checked out last year, said Poillon, the library recognizes they “are extremely popular with our patrons, so having another way for patrons to get these titles is great.”
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