Davis libraries boosting technology, resources for users

Apr 5 2012 - 7:08pm

Images

A Kaysville resident uses a computer at the Davis County Library to do research on the internet. The library system is updating its resources so it can offer more e-books, online learning games for children and online resources for adults, such as car repair manuals and language learning courses. (Standard-Examiner file photo)
A Kaysville resident uses a computer at the Davis County Library to do research on the internet. The library system is updating its resources so it can offer more e-books, online learning games for children and online resources for adults, such as car repair manuals and language learning courses. (Standard-Examiner file photo)

FARMINGTON -- As library patrons increasingly use electronic media to access information, Davis County Library is working to meet their demands.

Libraries have historically been a major source of knowledge, traditionally in the form of paper books. However, with the increased use of technology, libraries are beginning to expand their resources.

Davis County Library is working to enhance its technology assets by purchasing more e-books, offering online learning games and tools for children and providing access to online car repair manuals, genealogy databases and foreign language courses.

All of these resources are free with an Internet connection and a Davis County library card.

Click here to find resources at the Davis County Library.

"We have been observing what has been going on, particularly with e-books, as it is becoming a bigger issue," said Jerry Meyer, assistant director of the Davis County Library. "We have been slow in getting into the area, but we will be doing more."

The library recently received a $30,000 Community Library Enhancement Fund grant from the Utah State Library, Meyer said.

Most of the money will be used to enhance the county's e-book collection, available through a system called OverDrive. The system supports most e-readers, including Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad, Sony's eReader, and Barnes & Noble's Nook.

Patrons can access OverDrive from the library's website, where e-books can be checked out and downloaded.

Just like any other library item, e-books can be checked out for anywhere from seven to 21 days. After that, the book is no longer available, unless renewed.

The library purchases e-books much as it does paper books. Each copyrighted e-book can be checked out to only one reader at a time, so popular new releases can have long waiting lists.

"We plan on buying additional copies of best-sellers with long hold lists," Meyer said. "We will be spending partly on keeping up and also on creating a more well-rounded collection."

He said e-books range in cost from $5 to $50 per book but on average are about $12 each.

Books that are no longer under copyright can be downloaded from OverDrive with no return date. Authors such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain fall into this category.

On May 7, the library will offer a presentation on how to use OverDrive with all types of e-readers. There will be two presentations at 7 p.m., one at the Centerville branch and the other at the Clearfield branch.

Another area being addressed is involving children in the library.

Online activities children can do at home will be offered as part of the annual summer reading program.

"Kids are much more comfortable with computers than adults, so this is another way we are helping children to explore the library," said Susan Smith, chairwoman of the Davis County Library board of directors.

The summer reading program will provide 21 educational topics. Relevant links to online games, suggested reading and interesting facts will be available via the library's website.

"It will be an activity that kids can do in more than one way, and encourage their curiosity in nonfiction as well as fiction reading," said Laurel Pedersen, children's librarian at the Farmington Branch.

Summer topics will include subjects such as oceans, astronomy and trees, Pedersen said.

"We hope that these activities will help the kids really want to read all summer long," she said.

The library also offers access to many informational online databases.

Meyer said some of the most popular sources are links to car repair manuals, genealogy databases and language courses.

Patrons can also access the HeritageQuest online database, which provides access to resources such as census data from 1790 to 1930, Revolutionary War records and Freedman's Savings Bank records.

Through a system called Mango, library patrons can access language learning courses in 11 languages.

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