Eau Claire public library sees upward trend with e-book check outs

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It is both a sight and sound we have always associated with the library. The beeps, the barcodes, now suddenly not the only things you will hear and see when checking out a book.

It is tablets that are revolutionizing the way we read.

"There's a lot of fiction, non-fiction," said Isa Small, a reference associate at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire.

And about 41,000 e-books total between two apps that library users can access for free.

Last month alone, Isa Small says about 3,000 e-books were checked out from their databases. She says that number is up about 27% over the last six months.

"We see all sorts of folks at the desk, all sorts of ages, all walks of life are coming in wanting to download e-books and be hip and cool," Small said.

She says it is as simple as downloading the "Overdrive" and "Freading" apps to your tablet, setting up your account and searching for the e-books you want. The software keeps track of how long you have had them.

"So after the expiration date has passed, the rights automatically go back into the queue so there are never any late charges for e-books," she said.

"I like the fact that I'm able to adjust the text," said Alex Bori, who was visiting the library on Friday.

He has been reading on his tablet for about the past year, has checked books out from the library's databases, and says he loves the world of digital literature.

"At the very least it's a great way to know whether a book you're interested in reading is worth a read to begin with," he said.

He says being able to stuff a bunch of books onto one device beats picking and choosing what to carry from place to place -- and saves a lot of money, too.

"That's a significant savings for someone who even downloads one book each week," Small added.

Whatever type of reading you might be into.

"I'm mostly into non-fictional professional books, so nothing really exciting," Bori joked.

For more information about e-book downloads, click here.

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