‘Digital Bookmobile’ bridges information gap

The Digital bookmobile tour recently came to Delaware County’s Ridley Township Public Library. — SUBMITTED PHOTO

Readers of all ages in Delaware County recently learned how to download ebooks and audiobooks from the library through interactive demonstrations and high definition instructional videos.

The Digital Bookmobile National Tour visited Ridley Township Public library last week; the Delaware County Library system hosted the event.

“The use of our downloadable materials is soaring,” said David Belanger, director of Delaware County Library System.  “This year our circulation of downloadable audio books and ebook will pass the circulation of 12 physical libraries in the county.”

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The Digital Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor trailer.  The 74-foot community outreach vehicle is a high tech update of the traditional bookmobile that served communities for decades. 

The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high definition monitors, premium sound systems and a variety of portable media players. 

The vehicle helped visitors explore the Delaware County Library System’s download service via a gadget gallery. 

The gallery featured an iPod Touch, Android tablet, Nook, Sony Reader, Blackberry and the Windows phone.  The goal of the gallery was help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library download system.

“The bookmobile was a great way for kids and parents to adapt to the new way of reading books,” said Morgan Garrett of Ridley.  “I brought my little sister out here because she loves reading books through her Sony reader.  I also wanted to show her that you can do so much more though the library website. 

“I personally still love to read the hard copies of books, but I’m also adapting to the new way of reading,” she said. “A book is convenient for me when I’m home, but when I’m on the go an ebook is more convenient.  The bookmobile was a great way for kids to get excited about reading and for the adults to get more tech savvy.  I hope they continue to do this in the future.”

Residents also took advantage of the download service by visiting the library’s website. 

One of the things the residents were able to do once they searched the website was browse the growing collection of bestselling, new release, and classic titles. 

Once downloaded, digital titles could be enjoyed on a computer or transferred to supported mobile devices.  Many of the audio titles could also be burned to audio CD.  At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection.  There are never any late fees or damaged items. 

The Delaware County Library System website does have regulations for participants who want to download from the system. 

Readers must have a valid library card, internet access, and a computer or device that meets system requirements for the materials. All downloads can be done from the home computer and all borrowed materials will automatically be returned. 

The website is a part of the department of county government providing support services to 25 libraries in Delaware County.

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