Public Libraries around the US (the information from company list a few in England and Mexico also) have been embarking on providing audio and e-books to library members. The major provider of this service for the libraries, Overdrive Inc., started providing digital video in March. This is revolutionizing the way libraries use and store there video holdings. The motivation for the libraries is simple, no more videos or DVD's to replace when they are ruined and no self space is taken up for the storing of these materials. The system sounds pretty easy and convenient.
Library card holders log onto their personal computers and browse books, videos or music. They download their choices to their computers. They can then transfer them to MP3 players, laptops and certain cellphones.
Patrons can take up to three weeks to watch, read or listen to the materials. After that, the file can't be reopened or read unless renewed online. The service allows libraries to offer many copies of bestsellers or popular study guides.
Waiting lists and late fees will be things of the past as the list of available materials grows.
Overdrive Inc. says the program is expanding at a huge rate and that new libraries join every month. I checked out Overdrive's site and the number of libraries with audiobooks and e-books is quite large while those with video is still growing. Those carrying video downloads include the Boston, New York, Denver, Los Angeles city library systems and parts of the Texas state system. The popularity is such that the Cleveland public library is hosting the first annual Digiplooza, an event aimed at promoting digital medium use by libraries. Overdrive Inc. just happens to be based in Cleveland. Right now Overdrive Inc. provides libraries with old TV shows, educational titles, IMAX films and videos of music concerts but is expanding the catalogue. So, dig your library card out of your wallet and start downloading.