The Auburn Public Library is launching a new platform for its ebook and audiobook selection and is hoping to expand its offerings.
The library today uses OverDrive to offer cardholders ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. Patrons can access the books through a separate website and read or listen to them on most devices.
Over the next few weeks, the library will work to switch its collection over to Cloud Library, which will allow the library to offer econtent directly from the library’s site, alongside print content.
“Then they will be able to checkout and download directly from there without having to go back and forth,” said Brandon Rowland, digital services specialist. “It’s a really simple process, and you get to see everything we have to offer at once.”
Cloud Library will work in concert with the library’s new self-checkout system. When patrons use the system to checkout a book, they will also be prompted to download the corresponding ebook or audiobook.
Once the programs transition, the library’s entire catalog will be available in e-book or audiobook format. Rowland also hopes to expand the collection in the transition. Cloud Library will offer the library more purchase options for ebook or audiobook licenses, hopefully allowing them to offer more copies of back listed books, Rowland said.
Patrons using OverDrive will need to switch to the Cloud Drive app, which allows readers to read from their computers, smartphones and tablets. The app is available on Android devices, Apple devices, Nook tablets and Kindle Fire tablets. It will not work with basic e-readers.
The library first began looking into Cloud Library when planning began for the upcoming self-checkout project, said Library Director Chris Warren. More than 25,000 ebooks, downloadable audiobooks and digital magazines were borrowed last year, and Warren recognizes that the numbers are not dwindling.
“We’re very aware that it’s a growing market, and it’s something that our customers demand,” Warren said. “We hope that this will help us fill that demand more easily and more quickly.”
The switch will take place in early May. OverDrive will be discontinued on May 9 and Cloud Library will launch on May 11. All ebook services will be unavailable on May 10.
Library employees are in week four of marking each item in the library’s collection with RFID tags and assigning barcodes to be used with the upcoming self checkout system, Warren said. They initially expected the process to take 10 to 12 weeks, but Warren now expects they will be finished in six to eight weeks.
The self-checkout will begin operation by the end of May, if not sooner, Warren said.
For more information about Cloud Library or the self checkout, visit www.auburnalabama.org/library.
Author: Cynthia Williford