Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Summer reading at the touch of a button

Thursday, 15 August 2013

With thousands of eBooks and eAudio titles now available from Hampshire County Council's Library Service, there is plenty of holiday reading to choose from this summer that won't take up luggage space.

Library users can also enjoy free internet access in all County Council run libraries from the end of August, so people can use their own laptops and tablets in the county's biggest Discovery Centres or the smallest local libraries.

Since eBooks and eAudio titles were launched in 2009 they have been hugely popular among Hampshire's library card holders, and figures show more people are now using this high-tech way of accessing the books they love. Last year there were almost 74,000 downloads - up around a fifth on the year before. Meanwhile, since April this year alone there have been nearly 35,000 downloads.

Customers can access free loans of up to five eBooks/eAudiobooks at a time, the online collection now includes an impressive 9,674 titles and 2,555 audio books.

The most popular genres with eLibrary users are crime and thrillers, Sci Fi, historical, biographies and romance, while authors that feature frequently in the top 20 include:

Dan Brown
Stieg Larsson
James Patterson
Lee Child

The most popular children's authors include:

Jacqueline Wilson
JK Rowling
Michael Morpurgo
Lemony Snicket.

Young readers can enjoy around 600 eBooks and eAudio titles for children and teenagers from Hampshire's Library Service.

For those looking to get away this summer, there are also hundreds of travel books in the collection which can accompany you on your journey via portable devices, without taking up valuable luggage space.

If the title is on loan it can be reserved free of charge. An e-mail alerts customers that it has become available and they have 24 hours to download it. Library users can even recommend titles they would like to see in stock.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside Councillor Keith Chapman said: "This high-tech way of reading and listening to books is really popular with new and existing library users. It's also another way that Hampshire County Council is adapting to new technology and providing a library service that meets the evolving, modern-day needs of our customers.

"Hampshire has one of the largest library services in the whole of the UK and offers so much more than many people realise. Libraries and Discovery Centres are a great resource for local residents, not only as a place to read, but also as a platform for encouraging knowledge, creativity and socialising.

"As people's needs evolve, so will our Library Service, so that we are continuing to bring new and improved services to everyone in Hampshire."

Customers can download eBooks and eAudiobooks to a range of portable devices via their computer, or if they own a tablet, direct to that device using the Overdrive Media Console App. Around 887 eAudiobooks can also be downloaded on to mp3 players.

Just like printed books, only one borrower can check out an eBook at a time and for popular titles, users must reserve a copy.

Customers can choose to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks for seven or 14 days, files then expire and must be deleted which means that there will never be any overdue fines to pay!

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