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Library goes digital with eBooks

Librarian Marghie West tries out an eReader. Pic. SIC

SHETLAND library has immersed itself into the digital age with the introduction by public demand of an eBook lending service.

As of this week library customers can download eBooks for free from the Shetland library website onto a range of devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android and many eReaders.

Amazon’s popular Kindle is not included in the service because the device does not accommodate library loans.

At the moment only adult fiction books are available online, but the plan is to expand the range of material over time in response to demand. Audio eBooks are also being planned for the winter.

The service is being made available through a £10,000 grant from the Scottish government’s library improvement fund.

People are able to borrow up to four books at the same time for up to 21 days, using their borrower number and PIN to log in.

The site uses free Adobe software, which users will be prompted to download and register the first time they borrow books.

At the moment the service is aimed at customers who may already be using eBooks, but the library plans to organise demonstration sessions and provide information for new users later this year.

Library manager Karen Fraser said the service would be especially useful to people who find it difficult to visit the library or who read large print books.

“Our members can already consult a range of excellent reference books through our website, but now they also have the option to download novels to read,” she said.

“We carried out a survey earlier this year and there was a lot of interest in being able to borrow eBooks, so the library is delighted to be able to keep up with the needs of readers.”

Anyone can access the site at http://shetland.libraryebooks.co.uk or via a link on www.shetland-library.gov.uk. People will need their borrower number and PIN number to log on. The library can help people who have forgotten their PIN number. Attached photo: Shetland Library’s Adults Services Librarian, Marghie West, tries out an e-reader.

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