Queens Library expands to patrons’ e-readers

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Queens librarian Angely Jibaja reads a passage from her Kindle. The library now loans digital material that can be accessed on the device. Photo by Ivan Pereira

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By Ivan Pereira
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Borough bookworms who are looking to read books on the fly on their latest tech devices are in luck if they have a Queens library card.

Two weeks ago, the Queens Library system expanded its digital media distribution system to provide access to its online materials to anyone who owns a Kindle e-reader or has the latest Kindle apps on other devices such as the iPad or iPod Touch.

Although the e-books, audio books, digital videos and digital music options have been available for cardholders who had PCs and Internet service, library officials said there had been a growing demand for access via the new devices.

“Our goal is to make information and reading material available to everyone. Paper or no paper, it’s the same thing,” Queens Library spokeswoman Joanne King said.

Kindle access for cardholders is free and can be done through computers that are not inside branches. Users can click on the digital media tab at queenslibrary.org and then click on which media option — e-book, audio book, video or music — they wish to loan.

After making a selection, the title will automatically download to the user’s device and be ready to read, watched or listened to. Like any loaned material at the Queens Library, the e-books have a time limit from anywhere between a week to three weeks.

If the user does not renew the material before the time period is done, the file for the book, video or album will be blocked from being used on the person’s device, according to King.

“You have to go in and delete it to take the files off [the device],” she said.

The library is working with the online digital media service Overdrive to provide the selections that include a lot of new material, such as the novel “The Help.” Currently there are 4,255 Kindle titles, but that number is expected to increase slowly, according to King.

“It’s a very new area for libraries because there are lots of rights management between publishers and libraries,” she said.

Since it is still in its infancy, most library users said they have not been using the service but said they were excited about the digital option. Andrea Quintana, 17, who reads a book a day and frequently visits the Bayside branch said she would stick with an old-fashioned paperback but her peers would gravitate toward a digital edition.

“I have a young brother who only reads things on his phone, so I think this would be good to get him into books,” she said.

Bayside librarian Angely Jibaja, who owns several Kindle devices, said the library has been working hard to give cardholders better access to digital media. She added that she and her fellow staff members are not worried that the service will not deter users from visiting a branch.

“A good book you can read anywhere, anytime without worrying about battery power or anything like that,” she said. “And people like coming here.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 3:01 pm and is filed under Education, Feature, Print Articles, TimesLedger. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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