August 2, 2005) - The Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) announces its latest online service, which offers local customers 24/7/365 access to an online collection of downloadable audio books and eBooks using their home Internet connections.
This online service provides the state's diverse population with new popular reading and listening options. Customers can choose from hundreds of digital books including self-help, legal resources, mysteries and thrillers, cookbooks, travel guides, business, computer books, and many other popular subjects. Technology for the new service is provided through OverDrive, the national leader in downloadable media for libraries.
To check out a digital book, customers visit the online library (http://hawaii.lib.overdrive.com), install the free reader or player software, make their selections, enter their HSPLS library card, and then download the titles. When the lending period is over, the digital books are automatically returned, so there are no late fees. If all of the copies are checked out, customers can place a "hold" and receive an email notification when the title is available. A valid Hawaii State Public Library System card is required to borrow and download eBooks and digital audio books from the website. Guides to the eBook and digital audio book services are available at www.librarieshawaii.org/services/ebooks.htm.
State Librarian Jo Ann Schindler points out the advantages of this new digital collection: "For the customer, this means no traffic and parking hassles, 24/7 access on all islands, automatic returns, no overdues, no fines, email notification, no delivery delays, and increased privacy. For the staff, benefits include no physical space requirements, no re-shelving, no processing, no lost or damaged items, no shipping costs, timely order fulfillment, and immediate borrowing statistics. These are major improvements for our library system, which has limited staffing, but which is nevertheless trying to meet the needs of library users who have wide-ranging reading interests and active lifestyles. As the technology matures and the publishers' digital offerings increase, we expect even greater service improvements for our customers," Schindler said.
During the month of July, early adopters checked out a total of 497 eBooks and digital audio books. The top circulated titles were:
- "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova [eBook]
- "The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook" by Mary Dan Eades [eBook]
- "Boy Meets Girl" by Meg Cabot [eBook]
- "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton [eBook]
- "Art of Deception" by Ridley Pearson [eBook]
- "The Hallowed Hunt" by Lois McMaster Bujold [eBook]
- "The Starter Wife" by Gigi Levangie Grazer [audio]
- "True Story: Murder, memoir, mea culpa" by Michael Finkel [eBook]
The top 10 waiting list subjects are: self-improvement, business, computer technology, cooking & food, juvenile fiction, biography & autobiography, fiction, reference, religion & spirituality, and suspense.
The top 5 waiting list titles are:
- "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell [eBook]
- "365 Easy One-Dish Meals" by Natalie Haughton [eBook]
- "Automatic Wealth" by Michael Masterson [eBook]
- "How to Be a People Magnet" by Leil Lowndes [audio]
- "How to Talk to Anyone" by Leil Lowndes [audio]