eBooks Are Flying Off the Library Shelves

Library website offers self-service checkout and return of eBooks for reading on PCs and PDAs
All day and night an automated service is sending out email notices to patrons that their library eBook is now available for check-out. With the click of a mouse, card holders of the CLEVNET online lending library can download digital versions of Prey, Lovely Bones, Cliff’s Notes, or copies of hundreds of other popular fiction, travel, business, study guides, IT, or other titles from leading authors and publishers. The eBook titles are available in both Adobe Acrobat and Palm Reader formats that allow patrons to read eBooks using their own PC, notebook, Tablet PC or PDA devices.

Since the opening of Digital Library Connection on April 8 the vast majority of the opening collection of 1,000 eBook titles was checked out from the virtual shelves in a matter of days. Now every time an eBook’s lending period expires or a patron returns an eBook early, a programmed email notice is instantly sent to the patron next on a waiting list for the title. The waiting patron can click on the link in the email notice and immediately download the title. The website manages the circulation of the eBook collection based upon the rules established by the librarians at the Cleveland Public Library.

“We are exceptionally pleased with both the ease of use and patron acceptance of the circulating eBook system,” stated Cindy Orr, Head of Collection Management for Cleveland Public Library. “To keep up with the unexpected demand for eBook titles we have already re-ordered and added hundreds of new eBook titles to the collection. The CLEVNET Digital Library Connection provides 24/7 access to a growing digital collection to serve our patrons from the convenience of their homes, offices or schools,” Ms. Orr added.

The success of the Cleveland Public Library system has gained international attention for both Cleveland Public Library and OverDrive, Inc. the eBook technology vendor providing the services and titles for the system. “We are installing similar digital library systems in several US and UK libraries. The service automates access for both librarians to develop and manage their digital collection, and self-service access to the collection for their patrons,” stated Pamela Turner, OverDrive’s Director of Content. “We have added new categories of eBooks for libraries to circulate. These include reference, scientific, and educational materials to support school and library learning initiatives,” according to Ms. Turner.