Barnhart Library becomes e-reader friendly
Mar 04, 2011 | 383 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This week, visitors to the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library website may notice a new link for something called OverDrive. This link is the library patron’s portal to the world of digitized, lendable reading materials.

The library is working with the Victoria Public Library and OverDrive, a digital materials provider, to provide patrons access to digitized reading materials.

Some of the advantages in having an eBook collection include the ability to develop and grow a collection without the worry of physical space constraints, such as shelving or deep storage. Patrons can “carry” their library within a sleek handheld device since most eReader devices can hold around 130 different publications.

What is an eBook?

An eBook, or electronic book is reading material experienced as a digital document rather than a collection of paper pages. eBooks fall into two primary categories: reading materials that have been digitized, or reading materials originally created as digital documents. Reading materials that have been digitized were originally available for public consumption as paper-based books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers or pamphlets.

Sometimes, these materials are difficult to digitize and they may be hard to read. More recently, born digital reading materials have been designed with eReaders in mind so they often have better resolution, are easier to highlight and notate, and have a cohesive appearance on screen.

What is an eReader?

The majority of eReader and eBooks have capabilities like increasing or decreasing text size, changing the brightness and contrast of the characters on the screen, orientation (reading like a book or portrait opposed to a newspaper or landscape), “shelves” where you can organize all your materials by publication date, author, title, check-in/check-out date, or whatever best suits your reading habits.

eReaders are highly portable and can store around 130 separate documents of 4MB in 2GB of storage (the basic Nook has 2GB).

Any device that can support ePUB or PDF formats can instantly become a mobile library.

OverDrive provides instructions and links to software so that most any device can become an eReader. Some of these devices include the Nook, Kobo, NextBook, Literati, Pandigital Novel, PocketBook, the Sony line of eReaders (Daily, Pocket and Touch Editions), and of course multi-purpose devices such as the Andriod, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch, and Windows Mobile).

How does it work?

Come to the second floor of the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library with your eReader, and you can access OverDrive to browse and download the Library’s budding collection of eBooks.

Downloading your selections to your eReader device is as simple as checking out an actual book. Log into the OverDrive catalog with your library card number, select up to five different reading materials, download them into Adobe Digital Editions, and you are set to read either on your eReader or the computer monitor.

The future

At this time, patrons are able to access the digital collections offered by both the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library and the Victoria Public Library.

OverDrive, the facilitator for this collection sharing, created the South Texas Digital Libraries consortium to aid small libraries with collaborative eBook collection development.

Shared collections mean that patrons may borrow eBooks from any library participating in the South Texas Digital Libraries project, effectively doubling or tripling the number of reading materials previously available.
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