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.
As long as patrons have their library card handy, the process is quick and easy.
“It’s very similar to shopping for anything online. You add a book to a little cart and check it out,” said Benedetti.
First, cardholders find the book, album or movie they want in a digital catalogue. Then, they add it to a cart and can choose to have it available for one, two or three weeks. After the borrowing time expires, the item automatically is deleted from the account.
“You don’t have any late fees and don’t have to remember to return a book,” said Benedetti.
Patrons can access the digital library 24/7, even outside library hours. Materials can be downloaded to Kindles, iPods, iTouch devices, Android tablets, the NOOK, Sony Reader, Blackberry, Windows Phone and other portable devices that are compatible with the library’s download service.
An added perk to attending the digital bookmobile event is that the library system is giving away a free e-reader to one attendee. There will also be giveaways for kids.
For more information about UHLS digital download services, visit digitalcollection.uhls.org. To learn more about the Overdrive Digital Bookmobile, visit digitalbookmobile.com.