SAN MATEO, CA - February 16, 2005 - Califa's Digital Library Consortium launched today an online digital library that offers patrons immediate access to hundreds of eBook and audio book titles. The online collection is available at http://califa.lib.overdrive.com. It serves patrons of seven participating library systems including Contra Costa County Library, Downey City Library, MARINet, Palo Alto City Library, Peninsula Library System, Pleasanton Public Library, and Sunnyvale Public Library.
According to Linda Crowe, Executive Director, Califa, "Digital audio books and bestsellers are the next step in library services. The number of people using portable devices like Smartphones and PDAs is growing exponentially - and now our libraries are here to serve them."
The portable digital format of eBooks and audio books offers countless advantages for business travelers and students. It's a valuable tool for those learning to read, and gives the visually impaired even greater access to materials. Users also find the fact that there is no need to return items extremely convenient; when the loan period is over the file expires and the materials are automatically checked back in.
Anthony Costa, Operations Manager of the Califa Digital Libraries, said, "Access couldn't be easier. Using existing library cards, library users can check out and download a variety of popular fiction, self-help, business, and reference titles and read them on their phones, Pocket PCs, or listen to them on their MP3 players. It's incredible."
Similar digital libraries are now in use by other library systems like Seattle's King County Library System and the San Jose Public Library. OverDrive, Inc., a leading worldwide digital media vendor, developed the technology and supplies eBook and audio book titles to Califa's new digital library.
Patrons of the member libraries can explore the service using their local library website, or they can visit the Califa Digital Book Download Center at http://califa.lib.overdrive.com.
Califa is a consortium of California libraries developed to improve services for all California libraries.