Digital access grows in Davidson library system

Library also offers help
Dec. 31, 2013 @ 10:44 AM

Sarah Hudson downloaded books on her smartphone to read in the airport when she was traveling. The option was convenient and the cost — zero.

As the assistant director of libraries for Davidson County Public Library, Hudson feels that the library is succeeding in its quest to meet the increasing demand for digital media.

“Especially this time of year, people tend to get those Kindle tablets or an iPad,” said Hudson. When they come in here, we are more than happy to show them how to do it. “Everything is free once they have a library card.”

Staff at the Thomasville Public Library branch where Hudson works are more than happy to get people started.

Digital copies are checked out just like a library book. The file stays on your account for two weeks, then disappears. If all the copies are out, you can place a hold on it.

“It is so easy for them to download the app and easily download the titles they want,” Hudson said. “We just get them started, then they go for it.”

Davidson County Public Library was a founding member of the North Carolina Digital Library consortium which began with six libraries from across the state and began lending digital books at the end of November 2005.

According to Director Ruth Ann Copley, circulation from inception of the program through October just topped two million checkouts.

“The most popular formats are e-books and audiobooks,” she said. “The e-books are compatible with most all e-reading devices including Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers. In addition to standard e-readers and MP3 players, most tablets like the iPad and Google Nexus  and smartphones are compatible with the use of the  free OverDrive Media Console app.”

Davidson County Library patrons have access to 22,626  titles including 13,732 e-books, 7,349 audiobooks, 661 Disney online options, 216 music albums and 668 videos.

To check the range of titles available, sign in via the Davidson County Public Library website. Enter the barcode number from the library card. The PIN by default is the last four digits of the phone number given when the library card was issued. If the number has been changed or not working, call the Thomasville Public Library or any  Davidson County public library and ask for help to reset it.  Library phone numbers are listed on the library cards.

Cardholders may check out up to four digital books at a time.  The default loan period for audiobooks is seven days and 14 days for e-books. The loan periods can be changed by individual users in seven-day increments for audiobooks and e-books either shortening or lengthening the loan period. 

This year a new feature was introduced that allows e-books to be returned before the loan has expired.  It is also possible to renew titles if not completed in the allotted time if no one else is on the waiting list for the title. 

There is never a library fine for e-books or audiobooks as they automatically return themselves when the loan period expires, Copley added.

In addition to the NC Digital Library, the Davidson County Public Library offers One Click Digital audiobooks, http://davidsonconc.oneclickdigital.com/  which are mostly always available with very few on the waiting list. Library card holders can check out up to 10 audiobooks for 21 days and listen to them on most tablets and smartphones with the One Click Digital App. The audiobooks can also be  loaded via a USB connection to mp3 players using the One Click Digital application on the computer like the OverDrive Media Console for NC Digital Library.

The Zinio magazines link allows users to access popular magazines on or offline using Apple or Android devices.

Most recently Davidson County Public Library has added free streaming to its Freegal Music service (https://davidson.freegalmusic.com/), for three hours a day along with the three songs per week per library card. Like other digital media, cardholders login with their card number and PIN.  The songs can either be downloaded and saved in iTunes or used on tablets or smartphones via the free Freegal music app. The songs do not expire. 

Thomasville Library is at 14 Randolph Street. For more information, call 474-2690 or visit http://www.co.davidson.nc.us/library/.