Print Library embraces paperless books
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Thursday, 26 May 2011 00:00

Camp Verde High School isn’t the only institution making inroads with the use of e-readers, portable devices capable of storing thousands of books.

Ruth Lacey, a representative from a major book retailer, right, explains the differences in different types of e-readers during a class at the Camp Verde Town Library on Thursday, May 19. The library staff is currently working out the details on how to manage library loans of e-readers and downloadable books and plans to have them available to the public soon.The Camp Verde Library is expanding its offerings, thanks to a grant from the Arizona State Library.

Ruth Lacey, a manager with a large book seller in Prescott, visited the library last Thursday to show interested patrons how the e-readers could be used.

Lacey showed how various types of e-readers work, some displaying black and white, others in color. The latter was ideal for people who enjoy reading magazines, Lacey said.

The former utilizes something Lacey called “e-ink” technology, a display that is designed to look most like a printed page.

Unlike physical books, Lacey said readers could change the font style and size, something useful for readers with poor eyesight.

“Even if someone isn’t that tech-savvy, it’s easy to use,” Lacey said. “Not to mention regular large-print books are expensive.”

Just one e-reader can store around 1,500 books, with an expandable memory that can store up to 17,500 books.

With one of these devices, readers can browse a library of nearly 2.4 million book titles, and through connecting with Google Books online, readers can access nearly 1.8 million more, many of which are free.

That’s particularly true of older books, which have outlasted their original copyright.

Providing free reading material is what the library is all about, and Director Gerry Laurito said his staff was brainstorming how to use their e-readers with the public. That could include letting people use the readers in the library and possibly elsewhere.

“We’re tossing around ideas,” Laurito said.

Until the library figures out exactly to maximize its collection of e-readers, Laurito said there’s already a program for people who own their own devices.

It’s the OverDrive eBook program, and Laurito said it’s up, running and ready to use now for anyone with a library card and access to the Internet.

Using this system, library patrons can download books to their e-reader, their computer, or even their pad device or smartphone.

Readers can check out a digital book from the library free of charge for seven, 14 or 21 days. Once the time is up, the book disappears from the computer or device with no danger of late fees accumulating.

Once there, click on the digital media catalog link, followed by the link to OverDrive. Once set-up is complete for first-time users, patrons will be able to browse the Yavapai County Library System’s e-book catalog. Unlike the brick and mortar library, this system runs 24 hours a day, so checking out a book at 3 a.m. is no problem.

For more information on how to use the service, call the library at 567-3414.