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Bookmobile due in San Luis to expose readers to digital reading
Even if the only books you've read were printed on paper, you can expose yourself to digital literature during a library event in San Luis, Ariz., on March 6.
Actually the event will take place not in the San Luis Library but in its parking lot. The OverDrive Digital Bookmobile, a 74-foot-long semi tractor-trailer, will make a stop, allowing residents to climb aboard to check out exhibits of electronic readers, e-books and books on audio.
OverDrive, a global distributor of e-books based in Cleveland, Ohio, sends its bookmobile around the nation to introduce readers to digital technology, and it's coming to San Luis at the request of manager of the library there, Cecilia Tovar.
It will be parked at the library, 1075 N. 6th Ave., from 2 to 6 p.m. March 6. Admission is free and open to the public.
Among OverDrive's clients is the Yuma County Library District, and while the district's digital collection is popular among patrons of other library branches in the county, Tovar said she sees less use of e-books in San Luis.
She says she's not sure if that's because San Luis library patrons haven't yet embraced e-books or they're not aware they can download them at the library.
In any case, she figured the San Luis branch could raise awareness about digital reading by hosting the bookmobile, modeled after the traditional libraries on wheels that bring bound books to far-flung areas that don't have access to reading materials,
“I just said, ‘Let's invite the bookmobile to San Luis, let's promote this and see what happens.'”
The 18-wheel OverDrive Bookmobile features instructional videos, personal computers and e-readers in interactive workstations where visitors can learn how to search the library's digital collection, company officials say.
Sarah Wisdom, the library district's community relations manager, said patrons also will be able to examine and try out various brands and models of e-readers, plus MP3 players that make literature available to the sight-impaired.
“I'm hoping this will start a new trend,” said Tovar.
The San Luis Library currently offers its patrons a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction e-books, both in English and Spanish.
“We have all the popular titles,” she said.
To access books from the digital collection, residents must have a library card and open a free account with the district, after which they can download the books at their local library branch or from the website www.yumalibrary.org. For more information about establishing an account, call the San Luis library at 627-8344 or the district at 782-1871.
Just as hardbound books must be returned to the library by a due date, patrons who download library books have a time limit to read them before those disappear from their e-readers, said Tovar.
“The positive thing is that you never have to pay a fine,” she said with a laugh. “It just goes away.”