Making Ereading Easier

1/7/2011

The North Carolina Digital Library, part of the Davidson County Public Library, has made ebook downloads available since 2005. It’s safe to say this library is ahead of the curve when it comes to ereading and digital content.  But the real question is just how ahead of the curve the patrons at the library have been during this time.

Ruth Ann Copley, director of the Davidson County Public Library, says the number of ebook downloads, while available at the library for about five years, has begun to really pickup in the past year. She points to the use of apps as a leading factor for the increase in interest, saying, “With the iPhone and Android apps, we’re able to provide users with more options for accessing eBooks, as well as audiobooks, from our ‘virtual branch.’”

Assisting in making ebook downloads easier, OverDrive, www.overdrive.com, which distributes ebooks, audiobooks, and digital content to libraries and schools worldwide, announced the release of apps for iPhone and Android this week that allow users to download library ebooks and audiobooks directly to their handheld devices. Among the interesting features to the release is “Get Books” where users are guided to their local library’s digital catalog of best-selling and new release titles. With this, users can browse, check out, and download digital content using their mobile device.


OverDrive says it offers ebook and audiobook downloads to more than 13,000 schools, colleges, universities, and public libraries, including Davidson County Public Library. To see if your public library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com.

This week Amazon.com also made an announcement related to Android devices, announcing that its Kindle apps will be tailored specifically to tablets built on this operating system, as well as Windows-based tablets.

Much like the Kindle apps built for other operating systems, those that are now being offered for Android and Windows will allow customers to “Buy Once, Read Everywhere.” This feature offered by Amazon.com allows users to read and sync their reading library, bookmarks, notes, and highlights with the device or platform of their choice.
 
Growth numbers projected for ereaders in the next few years are astronomical. The exact number this market will reach is anyone’s guess. What is certain, however, is the fact that if ereading is to reach some of the projected numbers, the delivery of content will need to be user friendly. Announcements such as these will make the ability for the market to reach these numbers more attainable.





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