“E-books are an area we are emphasizing because it is the only category of circulation that increased last year and it has shown an even greater rise this year. At the end of the third quarter it accounted for 3.8 percent of our total circulation,” Carmen Sims, program director of BCLS, said.
Currently, movies garner the largest demand and make up 30 percent of the library’s circulation. Fiction books place second at 22 percent.
May 2014 marked the library’s month of highest e-book and e-audiobook checkouts with 2,010. To win the prize, the system needs checkouts to reach that number and increase by 503 by the end of June. The money will be used to broaden the electronic inventory available to library members.
Amanda Monson, adult services coordinator, said, “Many people in the area are not aware that we offer e-book checkouts. There are a lot of people that have e-readers or read from their tablet or smartphone but they don’t know that they can checkout a book for free from the library any time of the day or night. Also, there are no late fees associated with them. They return automatically when the seven- or 14-day rental ends.
“E-readers have come down in price and more people are getting them. They are starting to spread and they are super handy. If you are someone who likes “Game of Thrones,” those are huge books, it is nice to have it available on a small device. I definitely encourage them for voracious readers. You can check out books for free from the library and not have to carry a big, bulky bag full of books.
“Another benefit to e-books is the library may be able to access books that are no longer in print and also can have more copies available to patrons for extremely popular books. One recent book that was in high demand was “Twelve Years a Slave.” There was a long hold list in general and everyone wanted to read it,” Monson said.
Staff at the library encourages those wanting a book that is checked out to place their name on a hold list. If a hold list has more than five names, another copy will be ordered.
Members who need assistance setting up their e-reader to checkout e-books can attend a Drop-In eReader Help Session at the Adairsville Public Library on Wednesday, June 18, from 3-6 p.m. and the Emmie Nelson Public Library on Tuesday, June 24, from 3-6 p.m. Assistance is always available at the Cartersville Public Library at the reference desk. No appointments are necessary for any of the sessions at any of the library locations.
The library is reallocating funds to increase their digital collection, which is numbered in the thousands.
“We have had plenty of grandmothers come in and ask us for help because their grandsons are not available. We don’t mind helping anyone set up the e-reader. We want people to leave happy and leave with books.
“At this library the growth of e-book usage has grown exponentially. It has been a bit sudden how quickly people have adapted to it. In the last year or so the use has shot through the roof. It really has been fantastic,” Monson said.