Okemos Public Library class helps with eBook and eMagazine systems

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By Ryan Hodges
Meridian Times staff writer

Kathy Greenwood of Okemos said that although she likes being able to download a book on the go, there is a feeling of accomplishment that is lost when finishing an eBook.

“I do like (physical) books,” Greenwood said. “I like being able to turn the page and go back. I am not used to this yet.”

The Okemos Public Library held a class Mar. 14 to assist people download and use new applications that can be used for borrowing eBooks and eMagazines from Capital Area District Libraries, also known as CADL. The class was designed to teach people how to better understand the OverDrive eBook and Zinio eMagazine digital systems that are now free to use for all CADL patrons.

Scott Duimstra, associate director of public services at CADL, said people are beginning to want library resources in more than just hard-copy format.

“What we found is that our patrons that are pretty tech savvy and use our digital collection also use our more traditional print … and physical collection,” Duimstra said. “But they also want their materials in different ways.”

Okemos Public Library librarian and class instructor Eric Stanton explained why publishers are putting limitations on these systems.

“Publishers were very reluctant to offer eBooks … (because) they want to get paid,” Stanton said. “So with eBooks … it is just like the regular library, one copy per user.”

As libraries nationwide are beginning to move toward a more digital platform, Duimstra said that eBooks and eMagazines are only the beginning.

“We are looking at other formats like streaming music, streaming movies and streaming television shows,” Duimstra said. “But we haven’t locked on anything from a library vendor … (to) add that to our collection.”

Peter Trezise, resident of Okemos, said he does not think having applications are going to limit the normal amount of times that he visits his local library.

“What it may allow me to do is find some books that aren’t currently available at the library to read … on the shelves,” Trezise said. “I would imagine that I (will) still be going to the library once or twice a week.”

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