E-books now available at Socorro Public Library

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E-books are now available for checkout at the Socorro Public Library, and any library card holder with Internet access can check them out anytime, from anywhere.

Rebekah Claussen, reference librarian, said during an interview April 4 that about 13 to 15 e-books have been checked out since the platform was set up the last week of March. A news release issued by the library says the digital media platform is Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 service, which works with Apple devices, Android phones, Windows tablets and smartphones, and Kindle Fire.

Paula Mertz, library director, noted the e-books do not work on a regular Kindle or Nook HD, but can be read on any device that can download the e-reading software. A library handout states Axis 360 works with the e-reading software programs Blio, Bluefire and Adobe Digital Editions, which are free to download.

Mertz said about 110 titles are currently available in e-book format at the Socorro Public Library.

Claussen said the e-books can be checked out for two weeks. After that, they automatically disappear from the reader’s device. Mertz added there is no chance of incurring late fees by checking out an e-book.

Donald Padilla, adult services librarian, added the titles remain listed on the reader’s device after the e-book disappears so library patrons can track what they’ve already read. He noted that comes in particularly handy for people who read a lot of books and may not recall specific titles.

Padilla said patrons can only check out one e-book at a time, and each e-book can only be checked out by one patron at a time. He explained the library must follow the somewhat stringent guidelines set by the publishers of e-books.

“There is a whole slew of publisher quirks,” Padilla said.

Mertz noted some publishers restrict the number of times an e-book title can be checked out before the library has to buy it again. Claussen added some e-books are considerably more expensive than their hard copy versions, such as one new Janet Evanovich e-book that cost the library $80. The same title is available as a hard copy for about $20, she said.

Claussen said once e-books become more common, publishers may “change their ways” and become less stringent in their rules.

Padilla, who has also worked in the library at New Mexico Tech, noted one publisher that sells books to Tech has changed the way it offers titles. For a yearly subscription fee, the school has access to every e-book that company has ever published.

Padilla noted the first 50 e-book titles available at the Socorro Public Library were purchased by the Friends of the Library, and cost about $2,000. The city of Socorro also supports the library, and the library has a budget for purchasing books that does not stipulate whether the books must be hard copy or electronic. He said the library doesn’t want to purchase a lot of e-books people aren’t interested in reading — but so far, “people are indulging” in the e-book selection the library has available.

“This is a new technology,” Mertz said. “We’re easing into it.”

Padilla said the library will continue to buy titles in e-book format, and the current offerings are not just a trial.

Mertz noted not all books are available in e-book format — yet. Padilla remarked it is similar to large-print availability; not every title is available in every format, be it large print, electronic or audiobook.

Mertz said in addition to e-books, the library has audiobooks available in digital format.

Padilla said Socorro Public Library has about 3,000 titles available in digital audio format, through the OneClick link on the library’s website. He added the checkout rules are not quite as stringent for digital audiobooks as for e-books; for instance, more than one library patron can check out the same audiobook at the same time.

E-books and digital audiobooks can be downloaded by following links on the library’s website, www.adobelibrary.org. E-reading and audiobook software is available for free download under the “App Zone” tag at http://socorro.axis360.baker-taylor.com.

 

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