09/05/18 2:00pm
JULIE LANE PHOTO

JULIE LANE PHOTO

As I was driving the other day, my ears perked up when I heard some guy talking about a recent study that showed that teenagers read very little or not at all. They’re too tuned in to all the electronic gadgets.

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02/21/12 1:00pm

E-books are flying off the virtual shelves of the Shelter Island Public Library and libraries nationwide. In 2011, downloadable media from the library’s Live-brary site grew 61 percent over 2010, with a large jump occurring in the fall after Amazon announced that the Kindle would take part in library programs. In December, Amazon claimed that customers were purchasing more than one million Kindle devices per week so demand is certainly expected to grow again this year.

The staff has been filling daily requests for e-book tutorials as patrons are eager to learn to use their devices and how they can access the Live-brary system, which allows card holders to download a wide range of digital media for free, including up to five e-books at a time.

If you’ve already been accessing the Live-brary system, you may wonder why certain books are not available in digital format. Or you may find yourself placed on a waiting list for the title of your choice. Accustomed as we are to getting virtually any hard copy title we want through the library’s inter-library loan program, it may come as a surprise when we don’t find the e-selection we want and end up having to buy it through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any of the other sellers of digital media. Why is that?

Each “copy” of an e-book has a license that must be purchased by the library system. Of all the major publishers, only Random House and Harper Collins currently sell licenses for their books to libraries. Penguin, another large firm, permits its older titles to circulate but will no longer make its new titles available. And Harper Collins has placed a limit of 26 checkouts before a new license needs to be purchased, significantly upping the cost for popular books.

So if you are looking for a hot new book, you may be placed on a reserve list, the same way you are for a new hard copy. And, as in the case of a print volume, if a title has a hold on it, the system will not allow you to renew it when your borrowing period is up. But thanks to a new feature that has been recently added to the Live-brary site, you can now “return” the e-books when you are finished with them. You no longer have to wait for them to expire in order to check out a new title if you have already reached your maximum borrowing limit.

Live-brary.com, the “digital branch” of the 56 public libraries of Suffolk County, has experienced a surge in use by the county’s one million library patrons over the course of 2011. Launched in the fall of 2010, the one-stop Internet portal allows county card holders to access all of the free online resources available to them, including checkout of downloadable books, music and movies; live tutoring assistance for K-12; newspapers, magazines and genealogy archives; Live-brary for kids; language programs and more.

“A year ago we averaged 620 checkouts a day from Live-brary.com and now the average is 1,000 a day,” said Suffolk Co-operative Library System Director Kevin Verbesey. “In the aftermath of the holidays when many people received iPads, Kindles and Nooks as holiday gifts, we saw an incredible spike —more than 1,860 Live-brary.com checkouts per day over a nine-day period.”

“The Help” was the most popular e-book and “The Hunger Games” was the most popular audio book downloaded from the county system in 2011, with “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” the second most popular title to be borrowed in both modes. The other titles in the “Dragon Tattoo” series also made the top 10 list of e-books borrowed.

Still not sure how to access the Live-brary system? Just call the library at 749-0042 to schedule an appointment with either Library Director Denise DiPaolo or Youth and Reference Librarian Jennifer Blume for a phone, email or in person tutorial. Please remember to bring your power cord and, if you own a Kindle, the password for your Amazon account. You’ll be on your way to digital downloads in no time at all.

See you at the library!

NEW FICTION

“Death Benefit,” Robin Cook

“A Devil is Waiting,” Jack Higgins

“Micro,” Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

“What Alice Forgot,” Liane Moriarty

“Locked On,” Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney

“The Alloy of Law,” Brandon Sanderson

“72 Shadow Street,” Dean Koontz*

“1222,” Anne Holt

“D.C. Dead,” Stuart Woods

“The Forgotten Affair of Youth,” Alexander McCall Smith

“Red Mist,” Patricia Cornwell (also in large print)

“Sleepwalker,” Karen Robards

“The Devil’s Elixir,” Raymond Khoury

“Down the Darkest Road,” Tami Hoag

“Come a Little Closer,” Dorothy Garlock (large print)

“Devil’s Gate,” Clive Cussler and Graham Brown (large print)

“Three Down the Aisle,” Sherryl Woods (large print)

“The Scottish Prisoner,” Diana Gabaldon

NON-FICTION

“Agatha Christie”, Agatha Christie

“How I Got This Way,” Regis Philbin

“Malcolm X,” Manning Marable

“No Higher Honor,” Condoleeza Rice

“SEAL Team Six,” Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

“Arguably,” Christopher Hitchens

“Being George Washington,” Glenn Beck

“The Boy in the Moon,” Ian Brown

“Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History,” Eric Chaline

“Inferno: The World at War,” Max Hastings

“Look, I Made a Hat,” Stephen Sondheim

“One on One,” John Feinstein (local author)

“SEAL Target Geronimo,” Chuck Pfarrer

* New York Times best seller