Blogger Digital Content Task Force

Easy Access: Making eBooks a Breeze

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mikael Wiman
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mikael Wiman

Have you noticed a spike in eBook circulation this summer? At our library we have hopes and dreams of seeing an increase in our eCirculation, not solely during an intense reading period, but throughout the school year. There is no question that an increase wouldn’t just be dependent on patrons having knowledge of the library’s eCollection, but also their access and ease of use, both for parents and kids.

In the spring the teen department and children’s library decided to debut an e-Reading Room through Overdrive. The purpose of the offering is to provide youth with a safe and kid-friendly environment in which to browse the library’s eCollection. Bringing increased exposure to our digital collection is one of our continued goals in the department, both for kids and teens, but making it a lot easier to search and download may be a lot more difficult than simply creating a virtual kids’ space.

Has this ever occurred at your library? All 5 copies of a certain book are checked out and you happen to find the one copy available and it’s an eBook. The patron is ecstatic and you proceed to shown them the process for searching, downloading, and reading the eBook. At some point in the transaction you notice the glazed look in their eyes and hope that when they go home they actually succeed in getting the title. I’m speaking mostly about parents and caregivers, but this can be amplified even more if we are speaking of a child.

Thankfully a few libraries around the country are on mission to make this process a bit easier for everyone!

Library Simplified is a collection of organizations with the goal of making the eBorrowing process less complex, especially as the importance of digital materials continues to increase within libraries. Another plan is to give libraries the ability to offer collections from all their eBook vendors through one application. The promise is 3 Clicks or Less, which would be a dream come true.

American Libraries, in their eContent Digital Supplement put out an article about the Library Simplified project entitled, Click, Click, Read: Building a library-owned delivery channel for eBooks. Personally, I’m looking forward to the progress that Library Simplified has made and continues to make in the eBook world. Hopefully that progress is a bit quicker than the time it’ll take you to download your next eBook from the library’s collection!

What steps has your library taken recently to make accessing eBooks a bit more seamless for your young patrons?

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Claire Moore is a member of the Digital Content Task Force. She is the Head of Teen and Children’s Services at Darien Library in Darien, CT.  For further questions, please contact at cmoore@darienlibrary.org. For more information check out the Digital Media Resources page on the ALSC website.

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