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Books on screen, and on wheels

The Overdrive Digital Bookmobile will make two stops at Capital District libraries on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 8 and 9. The interactive vehicle teaches library patrons how to access digital materials.

The Overdrive Digital Bookmobile will make two stops at Capital District libraries on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 8 and 9. The interactive vehicle teaches library patrons how to access digital materials.

Did you know there are 13,000 books, music and movies available to download from public libraries across the Capital District? If you didn’t, a trip to the Overdrive Digital Bookmobile might be in store.

The Bookmobile on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 8 and 9, will make local stops to show patrons exactly what e-materials their libraries have to offer and how to access them.

“Library patrons are always asking us about our e-book collection. This event is a fun way to let people try out various devices and learn how to download digital materials for free from the library,” said Richard Naylor, director of Colonie’s William K. Sanford Library. “The digital bookmobile is an amazing display of available library technology and devices and we are excited to be able to host it.”

The bookmobile is a 30- by 75-foot tractor trailer that tours the nation showing readers how to make the most of their library cards. The interior is outfitted with the various devices that can be used to download materials, like computers, tablets, e-book readers and portable media players. There’s also a room with demonstrations on how to download movies and sample e-book and audio books for patrons to test out their new digital borrowing skills.

“We (are) absolutely thrilled because many people are just not aware that they can download books for their e-readers and mp3 players in the library,” said Jo-Ann Benedetti, manager of outreach and information services for the Upper Hudson Library System.

The bookmobile will be at the William K. Sanford Library in Colonie on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the East Greenbush Community Library on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Benedetti said area libraries have been offering books in a digital format since 2006, about three years before the Kindle was first released. The problem is many people don’t realize they have the option to borrow e-books or audio books from the library, or how simple it is.

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