Digital Bookmobile Visits Belchertown
As electronic books become more popular, libraries in Western and Central Massachusetts are branching out to make digital media available to patrons from home. In Belchertown Friday, visitors had a chance to learn more about what's available from virtual collections. New England Public Radio's Adam Frenier reports.
The Digital Bookmobile, a trailer-truck sized traveling exhibit was parked next to Clapp Memorial Library. Inside were interactive displays designed to provide library users information on how to access electronic book and other media collections. Cynthia Laino is an Access Services Associate at C-W MARS, a network of more than 150 libraries in Massachusetts.
"Audio books have been popular, but the last two years, e-books have exploded in use. I think that's partly because there are more e-readers on the market and the price has dropped dramatically. It's impossible to keep up with the demand at this point, but we have more than doubled our collection in the last year.
There are more than nine thousand e-books, three thousand audio books and several hundred videos available for download from area libraries. Access to collections is available through library websites and free with a library card. The media can be used with a computer or various mobile devices. Renee San Jose travels with the exhibit. She says while electronic collections have advantages, fans of visiting brick and mortar libraries need not worry about having them replaced.
"E-book reading is always going to be a supplemental facet to the library community. It's obliviously of the times and the libraries are definately wanting to keep up with the times, so they are just going to keep adding more e-books to their collection while keeping up with their physical library books as well."
The Digital Bookmobile makes two more stops in Massachusetts before heading to New Jersey. For New England Public Radio, I'm Adam Frenier.