City Library adds eBooks to resources
Aug 17, 2012 (The Porterville Recorder - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Porterville City Library has started lending, 21st century style: As a member of the San Joaquin Valley Library System, which is now in a partnership with 3M, city library card holders can access 3M's Cloud Library online to borrow eBooks for free.
"It's a work in progress," library supervisor Tony Arellano said, adding that currently, the library only has access to content.
Other features that 3M has made available to libraries, such as an on-site kiosk to check out books and simplified 3M eReaders which library patrons could borrow will not be available at the Porterville library automatically, Arellano said SJVLS purchased a kiosk and might work out a system to "float" these from library to library. Currently, the kiosk is housed at the Tulare City Library.
Arellano says that through the library, an e-book reading program available through Google Chrome has been implemented to give readers access to the books on computer's there. For home readers, 3M has software available which is currently compatible with PCs, Android-enabled devices, Apple products like the iPad, iPhone, and touch-screen iPods, as well as the e-reader brands Nook, Kobo and Sony.
Arellano says e-reader programs take only a few minutes to download onto a computer or device, and are user friendly, to a point.
"The ease of use will vary depending on how technologically savvy each user is. If they do this stuff all the time it will be a no-brainer," Arellano said. "For others it will be less intuitive."
As far as the content, Arellano says that obtaining the use of digital book editions is different for libraries than it is for independent owners. The library must basically purchase the book itself, then maintain an agreement with the book publisher to continue to provide the content to library readers under certain circumstances.
According to a press release from Parks and Leisure Services, the limitations in place are that only three e-books can be borrowed through this system at a time, and a reader will only have access to the book for 14 days. After this time period is up, the book will automatically "return" itself, which is beneficial to both the library and reader, as it does away with late fees, and lost or damaged books.
"We hope the collection will grow and that the community will enjoy it," Arellano said.
The collection has been available to borrow since Aug. 1 when the library first announced its existence on its website, and posted a status update on the library's Facebook page. Arellano has not been able to determine whether many people have checked out books, as he has not been able to access users statistics yet. However, Arellano said there has been some positive feedback.
"People have 'liked' the comment on Facebook," he said. "We don't know if they have tried the service, or they are just pleased that we have it."
Arellano is hoping that the presence of this service will draw more visitors to the library's website, where a reader might find other services and materials that are available to people in Porterville.
Currently, to access the 3M system, a reader can find a link to the 3M website at www.portervillelibrary.org. A welcome page will appear with a link to download reading applications, instructions, and a drop-down box to select California and Porterville City Library. This directs a user to the SJVLS's "shelf" which shows the books available. Clicking on a thumbnail of a book will open up a page, and a button marked "login" takes the user to a login page. Anyone with a library card can enter their Porterville library identification number and then a password. New users will be prompted to create this password. The book will be transmitted to the user's computer or device. The only thing left is to read it.
Arellano says that as far as trouble shooting, users can call the library but the available staff aren't computer technicians and may not have all the answers. Likewise, if a lot of questions pop up, the library may have to start a queue to deal with each problem as it comes. Even so, Arellano said, "I am not anticipating any problems."
According to the 3M Cloud Library website, the Porterville library has the potential to allow local users access to an extensive collection. 3M has already entered into partnerships with a number of publishers and readers have access to best sellers, popular series/genres from Random House, Harper Collins, or Harlequin, amongst others. The company is continuing to negotiate with publishers, and just last May announced that it would soon be able to provide books from INscribe Digital, Smashwords, The Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, as well as the National Book Network, which would increase 3Ms offering list to over 200,000 titles from more than 300 publishers.
With these new additions, 3M's catalog will include popular fiction and nonfiction for adults, young adult readers and children, as well as academic publications, reference books, general interest books, and independently published works.
For more information, call 784-0177, visit the Library at 41 W. Thurman Ave, or visit the Library's web site or Facebook page at Facebook.com/Porterville Library.
What The Reader's Say
"I checked a book out on my phone and it was quite user friendly. I just wish there had been a more vast variety of books." -- Stephani Jimenez
"Yes, I have checked out a few. Love the convenience and the fact that Porterville is catching up with the rest of the world. However, I find the choices to be very limited. They simply need more e-books!" -- Angelic Dodgens
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