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Library Going Digital

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Public Library will start offering e-books.

Library card holders will soon be allowed to download books onto their I-Pad, Kindle, or other handheld devices, and will have access to the book for a period of 21 days. At the end of the period, the book will no longer appear on the device, and can then be checked out by someone else. The book can also be rechecked out for additional time if it is available.

The Board of Supervisors approved a four year contract with the company OverDrive to setup and operate the new program. People checking out e-books will be able to do so by accessing the libraries website, and will not have to physically go to the building.

Supervising Librarian Maggie Durgin told the Supervisors that e-book technology is fairly new, and many patrons have requested the service.

With new technology, comes additional costs. The four year contract will pay OverDrive $8,000 annually. In addition, the library has a one-time cost of $1,650 to purchase software.

The non-profit Friends of the Tuolumne County Library has agreed to donate $10,000 during year one, and $4,000 during each of the next three years. The remaining costs will come out of the Library’s book budget, or from donations via service clubs and agencies.

Durgin told the Supervisors that she would invite them to the Library later this winter, once the technology is installed, so that they can see a firsthand demonstration.

“I am so thrilled,” said District One Supervisor Liz Bass. “I am going to bring my Kindle down on the day you have it, so that you can demonstrate on it.”

Bass said the technology will allow people to connect to the library, even if they are unable to physically visit.

“I share Supervisor Bass’s enthusiasm for this,” added District Two Supervisor Randy Hanvelt. “I think libraries are an institution that has contributed to the wealth and success of our country. I would really like to acknowledge the Friends of the Library for their continued contribution.”

It is unknown how many e-books will initially be offered. When e-books are purchased by the library, similar to a hardcover, they are owned by the library indefinitely.