Tuesday, 22 November 2011 04:04 Written by Alyssa Newton
All across the United States libraries and library patrons are embracing e-books. According to Library Journal’s second annual e-book survey, "66% of public libraries reported a steep increase in e-book requests," and the circulation of e-books is expected to double this year.
This dramatic increase is in direct response to user needs and libraries are increasing their e-book collections to meet the rising demands. As libraries are embracing all things e-books, they are discovering that this new service isn’t replacing the use of the traditional books in their collection, but is a new service that is attracting new members.
What is the Fayetteville Free Library doing?
Librarians at the FFL are building the e-book collection by purchasing new titles each month. They are also educating patrons on how to use eReaders by circulating pre-loaded devices including nooks, iPads and kindles and offering one-on-one tech sessions. As they continue to see a majority of patrons asking the “how” and “what” questions, the enthusiastic FFL staff is prepared to educate patrons about the digital services available. Displays and instructional handouts can be found throughout the library to promote the services and a fully-loaded webpage links patrons to the FFL’s catalog and introduces patrons to great apps and sites that offer free e-books.
As the FFL and its patrons continue to explore and play with the new technology and digital content, I can’t wait to see what innovative programs and services will arise. Will this technology provide a platform for patrons to become content creators? Will it help different generations collaborate on projects to better our community? Will it create new opportunities for the library to step outside of its physical building and find new ways to connect with the community?