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Dallas Library Launches Digital Book Service


By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – The Dallas Library has entered the digital age: e-books, audio books, music, and videos for download with a library card and a computer. KERA's BJ Austin watched the first "download".

To launch the "Digital Dallas" program, City Councilman Ron Natinksy logged onto the library website, downloaded the first e-book, and transferred it to his personal e-book reader.

Natinsky: What I'm gonna do is click on it, drag it over to the reader, let it go. And now I'm ready to read: Janet Evanovich's Hero At Large.

20 thousand book titles are available for FREE download to begin the program. The e-books are automatically returned electronically after 20 days. Librarian Corrine Hill says Digital Dallas brings the library to people instead of the other way around, and offers new services.

Hill: We've got it in large print. We've got it in audio-book. We've got it in digital download. We've got in on an e-book reader. Tons and tons of ways to look at the materials, sort it, and view it the way you want. It's about you.

The Dallas library buys the digital books and the downloads are managed by an outside vendor. Corrine Hill says in tough budget times this is the way to go: no re-shelving, delivery, or inventory labor.

A number of North Texas libraries already offer a variety of audio and e-book services. The American Library Association says more than 55 percent of libraries offer digital downloads.

Email BJ Austin