Chances are very good that someone you know will receive an e-reader this holiday. That is, if they didn’t already get one last holiday, or for their birthday, or for Valentine’s Day, or for an anniversary.
That someone could even be you, and that e-reader could be something specifically designed for reading books, or it could be a tablet computer that does a dozen other things. And don’t forget that smart phone in your pocket. It will probably let you read e-books and listen to audio books as well.
While many e-readers and tablets are designed to make it easy to buy books online, did you know you may also be able to borrow e-books from your local public library? That’s right. You can get them at your library for no extra charge. Your tax dollars are already supporting your local library, so why not take advantage of their e-book offerings?
An article in USA Today Wednesday highlighted this increasingly common public library service. It even offers a link to a series of lessons on how to “cope with the technical peculiarities of library e-books.” (Note: the lessons are Windows-centric, but even if you’re an Apple fan boy or girl, there’s good information here.)
So which Oklahoma public libraries offer e-books and audio books through their websites for check out? According to information from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, seven of the state’s eight library systems offer the service. Here they are:
- Chickasaw Regional Library System serving Atoka, Carter, Johnston, Love and Murray counties;
- Eastern Oklahoma District Library System serving Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, McIntosh, Muskogee and Sequoyah counties;
- Metropolitan Library System serving Oklahoma County;
- Pioneer Library System serving Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties;
- Southeastern Public Library System of Oklahoma serving Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain and Pittsburg counties;
- Tulsa City-County Library System serving Tulsa County; and,
- Western Plains Library System serving Custer, Dewey, Roger Mills and Washita counties.
The Chickasaw system gets its downloadable e-book and audio book service through the OK Virtual Library, a consortium of public libraries in the state that have joined together to offer digital collections. You’ll also find 16 additional municipal libraries—from Miami to Guymon, Stillwater to Mustang, Enid to Duncan—that offer electronic and audio books through the OK Virtual Library. They offer books in ePub, Kindle, and audio formats. Plus, the list of participating libraries is growing!
(Update 11/18/11: Stillwater Public Library, which coordinates OK Virtual Library, has announced that six additional municipal libraries will “go live” with e-book and audio book downloads on November 28. Those libraries are in Ada, Alva, Durant, Marlow, Pryor and Vinita. So that brings the total to 22 municipal libraries with the service.)
If you don’t see your local library listed, check with the staff and see if they are planning the service in the future. With so many e-readers under the tree this year, it’s only a matter of time before you can “check-out” a digital book at your library.
And as a librarian who works with digital content, the idea Google has of digitizing ALL the books that every existed, seems a little crazy and far-fetched even for the Great God Google.
So if you want to see some local digitizing efforts from one of our universities that really is spectacular, go to the McCasland Map Collections at Oklahoma State University. It is excellent, and the Great God Google doesn’t have anything to do with it.
I’ve definitely got a soft spot for local digital efforts. I think we know the best stuff, we’re respectful of copyright and we like to focus on local history and culture.
I’m not against the Google efforts, but nothing makes you crazier than finding one of the Google books and you get a smidgen of the entire book and need to find it at a library or through Interlibrary Loan anyway. So we’ll see if Google gives up or just finds a way to be the New Royal Library of Alexandria.
I came across a bit of news from the world of books and reading this weekend. Here are the goodies that I thought deserved a pass-along…
The Google ebookstore is officially open. An earlier news report mentioned that Google ebooks could be read on Amazon’s Kindle. I thought that was odd, and turns out, it was. Kindle is not mentioned in the list of supported devices. But the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, the Sonny e-reader, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Android devices are. There’s even a web reader so you can read “on the cloud.” (Reading on a cloud sounds like a great kids fantasy, but, of course, we’re talking about a computer cloud.) Google says it has the largest selection of books, now. Plus, they’re partnering with independent booksellers, which could be a very good thing. Now it’s time to sit back and watch the e-book war among Google, Amazon and a few other players.
Another site launches today, one that’s geared for the literary teen set: Figment.com.This New York Times article describes it as a social network for young-adult fiction. It’s a place for teens to read, write and discover new content. (It’s also a place for publishers to see what teens want to read.) Wonder what S.E. Hinton would have made of this if Figment had exsisted back when she was a teenager?
‘Tis the Season for Cookbooks! OK, I don’t even cook, but I have a sister who loves to try out new recipies. So, in searching for some possible gift ideas, I discovered hese top ten cookbook lists!
The Washington Post’s Top Cookbooks of 2010
bon appetit’s Favorite Cookbooks of 2010
2010′s Best Cookbooks, courtesy of NPR.
Hope everyone has a very happy week of December 6!
In my other life, I do some digitizing of historical Oklahoma publications for our digital collections at Oklahoma Crossroads. The last one I put up was a little annual report from the Anti-Horse Thief Association from their 1917 meeting in Shawnee. One of the staff at ODL (OK Dept of Libraries, thanks Colleen) transcribed the contents so all the names, places, etc. are fully searchable from Crossroads. You might find some relatives who prevented horse stealing in Oklahoma.
The first charter of AHTA in Oklahoma Territory was granted on July 27, 1894, with headquarters in Arapaho. The sub-chapter president’s would organize posses, to track down and apprehend individuals horse stealing, and vigilance committees to observe suspected thievery. I guess we could think of them as the first neighborhood watch associations except with firearms. In 1916 AHTA had over forty thousand members in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, lllinois, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, and South Dakota. As horses gave way to cars as the chief source of transportation the need for the A.H.T.A. diminished, and eventually developed into a social and fraternal association but in 1917 it was still very much in the law enforcement business.
Part of this information was excerpted from Patrick Keen’s article in the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture Online.
Picture taken from website, The Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation, http://www.lrgaf.org/articles/ahta.htm
With following commentary: “The organization was very effective. It is stated that from 1899 to 1909 the Oklahoma AHTA recovered stolen horses and other livestock valued at $83,000. Four hundred suspected thieves were caught and 272 of them were convicted. That was just in the state of Oklahoma. ”