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Library Seeing Huge Demand for eBooks

January 19, 2011, 4:54 PM by Hailey Higgins

Library Seeing Huge Demand for eBooks
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The number of eBook checkouts at the Siouxland Library is through the roof and librarians are trying to keep up with demand.

From 2007 to 2009, the eBook checkouts in the month of December averaged about 100. But in December 2010, it jumped to 900 checkouts. By mid-January, they've already reached 900 checkouts and the numbers are still climbing.

To keep up with demand, the library has doubled its eBook collection to nearly 1,000 books.

Electronic resources librarian Heather Stephenson said the popularity of eReader devices is the reason why eBooks are in high demand.

“Especially around Thanksgiving, when there were a lot of sales on the devices and they were getting publicity, we just saw a huge increase in checkouts,” Stephenson said.

The library has made checking out the books easy. Just choose a book on the library’s website, put in your library card number and download the digital copy to your computer. Then you just transfer it to your eReader.

After one or two weeks, the copy expires and you lose access to the file, so you don't have to worry about returning a book or late fees.

Stephenson doesn't think this new trend could eliminate traditional paper books.

"Not in this lifetime," Stephenson said. "I think that it is two different experiences and our circulation of other library books increased over the last year too, so there is still a demand for that."

The library has also had huge turnouts at classes to explain eBooks. The Amazon Kindle is not compatible with library eBooks; however, they can be transferred to many other popular devices.

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