As the holiday season approaches, and you make the list of all the new tech gadgets you’d like to find under the tree, let me offer one suggestion. Do the research on that iPad, play around with the Sony Reader and that amazing new Kindle, but then do one more thing: Go to the website for your local library and do a different kind of research.
I work at a fairly large library, that is connected to 29 other libraries in our area. That means we share books, videos and music. We also share audio books and ebooks. The selection is amazing. On our library website alone, patrons have access to thousands of ebooks and audio books, free of charge. It’s easier and quicker than driving to a brick and mortar building to check out the hard copy.
But there’s one catch. You can only use this amazing variety of resources if you’re using certain devices.
The audio books seem to be the most versatile in our collection. From iPods to PC laptops, compatibility is rarely an issue. The main snag appears in the category of ebooks.
In our large library system you can check out (down load) hundreds of current titles, but only if you own an ereader besides an iPad or a Kindle. If you have a Nook, Kobo, Pandigital Novel, or just about any kind of Sony Reader, you’ll have no problem accessing our huge ebook collection. Anything Apple, and you’re out of luck.
It pains our Information Technology person. She’d love to have everything available to everybody. But that’s not possible for now. So in the meantime she warns our patrons to choose wisely when purchasing new devices. She refuses to endorse a certain product but wants our patrons to know there’s one more thing to consider when making out your wish list.
If you plan to use the resources your local library has to offer, make sure your dream device is compatible.