In April 2010, 663 downloadable books were checked out through the Woodlands Library Cooperative—a group of libraries that includes Morenci’s Stair Public Library.
Jump ahead to November 2011 and the number increases ten fold to nearly 7,000.
Audiobook downloads nearly tripled during that period, also, proving the popularity of books on mobile devices.
The biggest jump in circulation occurred after Kindle books were added to the mix. Those books account for nearly as many as all other e-book readers combined.
Morenci’s and Fayette’s libraries both offer electronic download of books through the OverDrive digital download service, providing instant access to thousands of volumes, with new books added frequently.
In order to read or listen, patrons must first download free software. Each title chosen lists the compatible computers and portable devices, from mp3 players to tablets.
Links to OverDrive are found on the library’s website. Patrons need their library card number in order to access the digital material.
A book can be placed on a patron’s waiting list if it is already checked out by another library user.
In addition to borrowing books through the library, readers have access to free books to download from a variety of websites.
• BookRix—More than 95,000 new books written by the community’s 371,000 members, plus foreign language and audiobooks.
• ManyBooks.net—More than 29,000 free eBooks are available.
• Free-eBooks.net—A combination of older titles as well as new books written by some of its 900,000 members are available.
• Mobipocket—Thousands of free titles are available at Mobipocket in the genres of English, American and Germanic Literature, Romance and Children’s Lit, and non-fiction genres such as World History.
• Project Gutenberg—Offering 36,000 free e-books, Project Gutenberg is probably the most recognizable free e-book destination on the Web.e