WELLSBURG - A bookmobile will help usher in the availability of e-books at the Brooke County Public Library though, as one might expect, it won't be a bookmobile like those of the past.
Instead of traditional hard- or paperback books, it will contain a variety of e-readers to demonstrate to patrons of the library and its Follansbee branch how they may access an assortment of books, videos and music from their homes using their library cards.
The 74-foot 18-wheel tractor trailer will be at the Brooke County Library, which is at 945 Main St., from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 14 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 15.
Staff with OverDrive, the library's Cleveland-based supplier of e-books and related materials, will be on hand with interactive demonstrations and instructional videos designed to instruct patrons in using their e-readers and personal computers to access the variety of books, videos and music now available through the library.
"The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected personal computers, high definition monitors, premium sound systems and a variety of portable media players, all of which will help visitors explore the Brooke County Library's download service," said Kim Harless, the library's program director.
There also will be games, food and drawings on both days.
E-readers and applications that can be used to access the library's new materials include Kindle, iPod touch, the Android tablet, NOOK, the Sony Reader, BlackBerry and Windows Phone, among others.
Joyce McAlpine, executive assistant to Library Director Mary Kay Wallace, said anyone with a NorLN (Northern Library Network) card issued by the Brooke County Library may access the new materials by visiting brookecounty.lib.overdrive.com.
Those who haven't obtained a library card are encouraged to stop into the library during the bookmobile's visits or during its regular hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Follansbee Branch Library, at 844 Main St., is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
There is no cost to West Virginia residents to obtain a library card unless it must be replaced. There is a $10 fee for out-of-state residents.
McAlpine noted Wallace has worked to bring e-books to the two libraries, exploring various options with the support of the library board.
Funds for the new service were provided by the library board, Friends of the Brooke County Library, a volunteer group that supports the library in various ways; and Brooke AARP Chapter, which held a Victorian tea last year to raise money for the cause.
In an earlier interview, Wallace said in recent years she has received requests for e-books from many patrons, including a number of senior citizens who have been given e-readers as gifts and are eager to use them.
McAlpine said she read recently of BiblioTech, a library offering only e-books, planned in San Antonio, Texas.
"We're not at that stage at least yet. We still have a lot of people who like paper books," she said.
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