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Digital Reader Activity Increases at Garland Libraries

More Garland Library patrons are opting for downloadable books. The service is offered to library cardholders at no charge, offering convenience and 24/7 accessibility.

With e-reading devices and tablet computers becoming more prevalent, the number of people reading digital books nationwide has grown significantly. According to a survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 50% of Americans currently own dedicated e-reading devices, such as tablet computers like iPads, or e-readers like Kindles or Nooks. The percentage of adults who have read e-books in the past year has also increased from 23% to 28%.

This rise in e-reading did not take place solely on a national scale. The number of downloadable books users in Garland has also grown significantly. In January 2013, patrons of Garland libraries checked out approximately 6,800 digital books. A year later, in January 2014, users downloaded more than 8,700 items—a 28% increase and the highest checkout rate the library has experienced since the service’s inception. Since 2005, the Library has been building its downloadable book collection steadily. It now includes 23,077 titles. This year, important e-books that are leased are also offered. This is an important change, as some key publishers only lease, rather than sell their books to public libraries. Patrons now have access to popular Penguin, HarperCollins, and Macmillan publications in downloadable format. Interestingly, the number of checkouts completed on mobile devices jumped 104% in January 2014, when compared to January 2013. These mobile checkouts now regularly account for more than half of the library’s digital downloads.

So why are downloadable library books so popular? Aside from their convenient, mobile format, these books are accessible 24/7 online, and because they just expire at the end of the lending periods, there are never any fines for returning them late.

The process for checking out downloadable books is also simple. Instructions for using the service are available at all Garland libraries. Users may visit the Library website, www.nmls.lib.tx.us, select Library Portal & Catalog, and click on the OverDrive Downloadable Books link to browse for books on a computer, or use the OverDrive mobile app on a tablet or smartphone. Information on library mobile apps can be found on the Library Portal as well. Downloadable library books are available in formats compatible with iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Kindles, and Nooks, among others.

Be a part of the growing digital books trend. Use your library card to take advantage of the library’s downloadable books service today.