Library Pilot Program Pushes e-Books
A new pilot program will see the county library system become the first in Canada to offer local residents a digital lending service accessible to the public at five pop-up locations. The initiative is a partnership with Whitehots Inc. and Baker and Taylor Publishing Services.
“We’re trying to get the word out in the community and reach people who aren’t regular library users,” Oxford County Library Systems support librarian Sarah McDonald said. “We’re also trying to illustrate eBooks are becoming easier to access. With these pop up libraries devices, you don’t need a card.
“If you’re in the location, you can keep reading the book for as long as you’re at that location,” she added. “If you’re leaving and you haven’t finished, you can download it to your device and keep it for a week until it expires.”
Five devices are being installed in Oxford County locations where people can wirelessly connect and download eBooks from the library.
The devices are located at the Tillsonburg Community Centre, the Tillsonburg Seniors Centre, the Norwich Tim Hortons, Ingersoll’s Olde Bakery Cafe and the Ingersoll Seniors Centre.
McDonald said Whitehots representatives approached the library in the summer if they were interested in taking part.
“We’ve always had a good relationship with them and we’ve been eager to try out new projects and initiatives,” she said. “We jumped at the opportunity.”
People can sign into the device with WiFi, go to www.popuplib.com and access the entire collection of the library’s Axis 360 service. McDonald said it’s accessible to any device with WiFi, such as a cellphone or tablet. A pop-up will also come up to encourage people to get a library card.
“We’re hoping with this initiative, people will come into one of our branches to get a card, so they can see and experience all of our other great resources,” she said. “Our patrons can download full-length albums, movies, use Hoopla, which is similar to NetFlix, to stream brand new movies. Hopefully, it’s a way people can start engaging with the library and see what kind of resources are available to them that’s totally free with a library card.”
The Oxford County Library has 14 branches, but the five pop-up devices will allow greater flexibility for people to use their services.
While some industries in the paper world are more reactionary to the reach technology can have and remain slow to change, libraries have long been at the forefront of embracing new approaches.
“We see things are moving towards electronic format,” McDonald said. “There’s eBooks, online content and we also offer online courses. You can be a regular active patron using our services in the comfort of their home and also come into one of our branches.”
The pilot project and will run at the five locations until the end of January 2019. McDonald said the library will then look to see if they’ll continue the program based off its usage.
“We’re hoping people enjoy having them in locations they’re already spending time at. Hopefully, they see the value in accessing the library resources and it opens them up to getting a library card,” she said. “We have wonderful programming all across the county and we hope to get them on board.”
SOURCE: Woodstock Sentinel Review Greg Colgan, The Guardian | Nov. 22, 2018 | click to view original article