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Patrons Can Borrow eReaders from Library

The Westbury Memorial Public Library, in working to meet its mission to celebrate the joy of reading while working to meet the community’s technological needs, is pleased to announce that it is one of the first Nassau libraries to implement a “Borrow an eReader at the Library” program.

“The loaner e-Reader program, said Director Cathleen Towey, is a technological step in increasing literacy that the Westbury Library is excited to take. “Enabling our patrons to borrow the devices provides the Westbury Library with an excellent opportunity to utilize technology while continuing to promote reading and literacy,” said Towey.

Currently, the Library is loaning out 20 Barnes & Noble “simple touch” Nook eReaders preloaded with new and popular New York Times bestsellers and recent award winners as well as exceptional titles that tie in with current events. The Westbury Library’s eReaders may also carry titles that have not yet been released or that are difficult to obtain.

“Our librarians put a great deal of thought into what titles are shared on the Nooks,” said James Hutter, head of technology for the Westbury Library, adding, “The recent passing of Steve Jobs created a shortage of his new biography. It was difficult for libraries around the country to secure copies of that work, yet our Nooks had the eBook version available to patrons on the very day it was released.”

According to Hutter, the Nooks are streamlined and easy to use, even for the most novice users. Each of the Library’s eReaders comes with a ‘quick start’ guide to walk patrons through how to open and read one of the preloaded selections. And, for those who require additional assistance, Library staff is available to help.

“Our staff is familiar with the devices and can give anyone a quick and simple tutorial and, for those who bring the Nook home and finds themselves stuck, we are just a phone call away,” said Hutter.

Since implementing the “Borrow an eReader” program in November, the devices have flown off the shelves. “We are the first library in Nassau County to offer a robust e-reader loaning program and the first to offer a significant amount of e-readers so that wait times are minimized,” said Hutter. “Unlike other libraries, we are also adamant that our collection of e-books on these e-readers be kept as fresh as possible.”

Currently, Westbury Library cardholders can borrow the eReaders for up to 14 days, same as they would a new release book. However, due to high-demand and the popularity of the loaner program, the eReaders currently cannot be renewed or reserved.

“We are anxious to let as many patrons as possible experience this technology,” said Hutter. “Our eReaders have exploded in popularity and we want to meet and exceed the technological demands of our patrons.”

Patrons who own a Nook, Amazon Kindle or Apple iPads can download free eBooks and audiobooks via OverDrive, a free service available to cardholders through the Nassau Digital Doorway.

To access OverDrive, visit www.WestburyLibrary.org and click on the “Books, Movies and More” tab and select the “Explore Nassau Digital Doorway” link. Once on the site, click “Quick Start Guide” in the upper right hand corner and follow the steps. A valid library card, computer, Internet access and a compatible eReader and/or audio device are required; the software needed can be downloaded from the Nassau Digital Doorway website for free.

“The beauty of an eReader is that you can now carry nearly 1,000 books in an 8-ounce device that is simple to use and easy to read,” added Hutter. “If you are curious about e-Readers, come into the library for a quick tutorial and feel free to bring one home to try yourself.”

For additional information on how to access OverDrive or to find out more about the Westbury Library’s “Borrow an eReader” program, call 333-0176. Additional information can also be found online at www.WestburyLibrary.org.