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Library goes digital with e-books

February 10, 2019

One of our patrons’ most frequent questions is whether Roseburg Public Library has access to downloadable books. They want to listen to an audiobook while they drive or walk or they want to take digital books on their vacation. They want the convenience of the electronic format. The short answer to the query is yes!

The longer answer is that the library has a subscription to cloudLibrary, a digital platform that provides access to electronic books and audiobooks at no additional cost to patrons. And thanks to a partnership with public libraries in Salem, Clackamas County and Corvallis-Benton County, Roseburg patrons have more than 30,000 items at their fingertips.

cloudLibrary is compatible with nearly every electronic reader; the notable exception is Kindle, of which the Fire is the only compatible device. Users can go to their app store, download the cloudLibrary app and log in with their Roseburg Public Library card and password. Alternately, they can read on their computer by going to roseburgpubliclibrary.org, clicking on the cloudLibrary icon under Library Resources and logging in.

Featured items are materials purchased by Roseburg Public Library. Click on “Browse” to look at the entire partnership’s collection. Searching by author, title or subject also is available. Items check out for three weeks and are automatically returned. Patrons may check out three items and place three items on hold simultaneously.

Patrons familiar with the OverDrive digital platform should note that the library has applied for inclusion in the Oregon Digital Library Consortium’s Library2go, which provides access to nearly 46,000 electronic books and audiobooks. If the library’s application is accepted, the service will begin July 1 and be in addition to the cloudLibrary service.

Electronic books and especially audiobooks are a significant investment. The most popular books cost upwards of $50, and bestselling audiobooks are $95, and this is for one license, which means one person can check out the item at a time, just as with a physical item. The library doesn’t own anything; rather, we lease materials. The major benefits for patrons are portability (they take up very little storage space in a device) and convenience (items are available for download 24/7). For the library, electronic materials expand our collection and provide another means by which we can meet patrons’ needs.

We will assess the benefits of maintaining two digital platforms and the primary guideline will be patron use. In just one month, 117 Roseburg Public Library patrons have checked out 413 digital items; that compares with 2200 total library card holders who have checked out 9749 physical items.

We expect those statistics to grow as the library settles into providing services.

Library staff is available to assist patrons with their information needs, including cloudLibrary access; stop in or give us a call at 541-492-7050.

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