Keeping up with technology isn’t a problem for the Castlegar and District Public Library as they release their first set of e-readers to the public next week.
The most common e-reader is the Amazon Kindle — a device where you can download and read entire books — but there are dozens to choose from.
While the library does have one Kindle, for now they’ll be circulating six Kobo e-readers (which is Indigo Books’ version).
“Right now, there are 100 e-book compatible titles,” library director Sandra Smith said.
Those titles include popular novels like The Birth House by Ami McKay as well as non-fiction, like Canada and Other Matters of Opinion by Rex Murphy.
The titles are rotated and more are added constantly.
Smith said although some patrons have chosen books over the e-readers, she thinks it’s good to provide the option.
“We’ve always been about choice,” she said. “This is just one more choice.”
Smith said the popular feedback she’s received about the e-readers are that they’re portable, easy to carry, lightweight, easy to read and clear.
“I think libraries will continue to go this way in the future,” she said. “It’s just one more way to get the story.”
Once you check out the Kobo, you take it home and use your own computer to download book titles. All you need is your library card, but you can only download five titles at a time. The battery life lasts about 10 hours and you plug it back into your computer to charge it.
The e-readers can be checked out for three weeks and they’re $200 to replace if lost.
“I don’t think people will lose it,” Smith said. “I think they’ll be so keen to have it.”
Smith recommends people trying the e-reader with the library to give it a chance.
“Some people don’t know if they want to buy one, so you can come try it out with us.”
If you’d like to listen to your books instead, the library also offers downloadable books to put on your iPod or other mp3 player.
All you have to do is click the link on the library’s home page and enter your library card number.
“It’s just one more way to get the story,” she said.
A new language program, Rocket Languages for Libraries, is currently on a three-month trial with the library as well.
“You can go right there and up comes Greek, Japanese, French,” Smith said.
The e-readers will be available next week, but the audio books and language programs are available now on the library’s website at castlegar.bclibrary.ca.
A reminder, too, that the library will be closed this Thursday, Friday and Saturday while staff attends the Kootenay Library Conference.