The Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina has long been a haven for biopharmaceuticals, hi-tech, and medicine … and it looks like the our libraries are also forging a path. Raleigh is the capital of the ol’ North State, and it’s smack-dab in the middle of Wake County–the same Wake County that now leads the region in allowing users to check out eBooks.
According to WRAL, the process will be really simple to follow:
People with a valid Wake County library card can go the library web site, browse the virtual collection, and download an eBook to their home computer.
Books can be read either on the home computer or transferred to compatible eReaders, including the Sony Reader or Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Amazon’s Kindle is not compatible because it uses properietary software.
Books can be checked out for up to three weeks and are automatically returned at the end of the check-out period …
WRAL also notes that there are about 150 titles right now, and that staff are adding new ones each week from the New York Times Bestseller lists. Granted, that’s an easy way to get a rush on the books and build anticipation fast, but it’s a little disappointing to know they’re going after the same big names that dominate publishing. I think this could be a fabulous opportunity to showcase newer and lesser known authors from smaller or independent publishing companies. Maybe that’ll be the next epiphany for our libraries.
I’ll have to wait for an app for my iPad (my boys upgraded the Kindle I got at Christmas for an iPad, and gave my Kindle to my mother-in-law), but it’s exciting to know that I could check one out if I wanted to. Now, if I can figure out how to get my books on the availabile list of titles. Hmm …