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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Downloading an e-book

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, March 24, 2013

If you would say, “I’m going to go visit my Library,” most people would assume that you are physically going to one of the 8 public library locations that serve Jefferson County; and yes, I am also counting the Bookmobile.


Open the door, enter the building (or vehicle) and select or pick up the items that you desire, or have already requested.


You would be correct in this process, except that some of our library collection is swirling around in cyber-space waiting for you to electronically latch onto it, and use or download it into your local system.


You would also be correct that all of this causes older librarians like me to pause and wonder how far technology and society has progressed in a few short years.


Our library system is a partner with other Ohio libraries in providing over 35,000 e-Books that you can download and checkout into your device.  The Ohio e-Book Project adds another 100,000 books to the selection process.  I say, device, since there is a myriad of different “things” that now accept e-Books.


The library has produced a brochure to help you in the download process, and it is revised frequently as technology changes.


Basically, you go to the library website and click on the link for “
audio books – eBooks – music, video download services” and note the “software” link at the very bottom.


Here is where the process divides depending on your device.  For a computer, Mac, or e-reader, you will need to download Adobe Digital Editions.


For Kindle e-readers you will need an Amazon account to transfer e-Books from your computer or Mac to your Kindle e-reader.


If you are using a tablet such as Kindle Fire, iPad, Nook HD, Samsung Galaxy or a smart phone, download and install Overdrive Media Console from your App Store or directly from Overdrive.


Most tablets and smart phones are capable of downloading e-pub with this App, but Kindle books will need the Kindle App available from Amazon.


If you now feel a need to stop and rest, I can certainly understand.  Perhaps you need to find an elementary school child to do this for you, as they seem to handle the technology better than us old folks.


Once you sign into the catalog, it is searched in similar fashion to an online library catalog of old-fashioned books.


You can select an item, or place a hold if the item is checked out.  You will be notified by e-mail when the e-Book is available.


You can check out 10 items for 3 weeks, and they automatically return themselves after 3 weeks.


Now, here is where the traditional librarian gets baffled.  The e-Books come back to the library on their own with no overdue fines?  That just seems odd, and please don’t ask me how they do that!


So, will e-Books replace traditional books?  Some people love e-Books, and some hate them.  The complexity of use challenges some, but it turns other people off from using them.


For now, there are more paperbound books being published and read than ever before, so it will take some time for people to get used to e-Books.


I am excited that people are reading, regardless of the format of what is being read.


And once again, libraries are at the forefront of information technology, and can provide the human touch to the use of e-books.


The library has “Tech Help” days for people with devices, and is at the end of the phone cord for answering various questions.


Think of the library when you obtain your first “device.”