The Hawaii State Public Library System has been offering e-books for the past five years on its OverDrive website but recently doubled its offerings thanks to Project Gutenberg.
The e-books can be read using e-book readers like the Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo eReader, but not on Kindle, which does not work with OverDrive. They also work with most computers.
"This collection allows HSPLS to more than double our current e-book collection," said state Librarian Richard Burns, "while simultaneously expanding our role as a gateway for our patrons, as we provide ever-increasing access to digital materials, content and information."
The library already offers more than 14,000 titles, including audio books and music. With Project Gutenberg, it has access to an additional 15,000 free downloadable e-books, doubling the number of titles available.
So far, library patrons are borrowing a little more than 200 titles a day, but the movement toward digital borrowing is expected to grow.
"A lot of people don’t know about OverDrive — that we have e-books and audio books available through the computer without having to come in the library," said librarian subject specialist Miriam Sato.
The e-books from Project Gutenberg are free because their copyright has expired.
As mobile devices begin to replace desktop computers, and with the increasing capability of iPhone and iPads, library specialist Colette Young says she expects an increase in e-book interest, particularly with Kobo eReaders being such a hot item this Christmas.
QUESTIONS ABOUT E-BOOKS?
» Go to hawaii.lib.overdrive.com and click on Quick Start Guide.
» E-mail email@example.com.
» Call the library reference line at 586-3621.
In the near future, OverDrive is also expected to introduce iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
How it works
To check out and download e-books and audio books, you will need a valid library card, Internet access and a computer or device that meets system requirements for the materials you wish to download.
The state library website, www.librarieshawaii.org, allows you to browse for various titles by subject or category. You can also find out what’s new in e-books, see what was recently returned or place a hold on a title that’s unavailable.
When you have found what you want to check out, you add it to a cart and then download it.
Downloads are not allowed on library computers, so patrons must use their own computers.
Checkouts from the digital library are limited to 10 items per patron, each for between seven to 21 days depending on the item.
Titles expire and are automatically returned to the library, so there are no late fees for e-books.
Checkouts from Project Gutenberg, however, have no time limit. The titles are always available, with no holds or waiting lists. Patrons have access to unlimited simultaneous downloads, which do not expire.
In order to access e-books and audio books, you might have to download one or more software programs, including Adobe Digital Editions, Mobipocket Reader and OverDrive Media Console.
The software programs are free at hawaii.lib.overdrive.com.