Oregon's wired libraries are a digital delight
May 13, 2012
By Kelly House, The Oregonian
The stream of visitors to a recent "digital bookmobile" parked outside the Gresham library was a testament to the enthusiasm and confusion surrounding the e-book boom.
Sharon Rindt came to test-drive the bookmobile's arsenal of e-readers, smartphones and other devices.
"I'm trying to decide whether to get one or not," said Rindt, 68, as she viewed a tutorial on the library's digital book, music and video collection. Other visitors came with new Nooks and Kindles, hoping to download their first book from the library's digital collection or learn how to navigate the device.
Gresham library director Martha Flotten wasn't surprised by the crowd.
"A lot of people who thought they'd never pick up an e-book now have them," she said.
Since Multnomah County began offering downloadable books and videos in 2010, use of the service has skyrocketed, said Jeremy Graybill, a spokesman for the county library system. Ten months into the fiscal year, checkouts have already more than doubled last year's numbers, with more than 189,000 checkouts of electronic titles. Similar trends are seen in Clackamas and Washington counties.
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