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Lodi Public Library offers e-books

Users with a Lodi library card can borrow books for Kindle or computers

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Posted: Friday, August 24, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:08 am, Fri Aug 24, 2012.

Lodi Public Library e-books are now just a couple clicks away on your e-reader or smartphone.

Whether you want to read a travel guide to Yosemite, a Danielle Steele or John Grisham novel, or a story to your kids before they go to bed, the library has a variety of books available for check out online.

"People have been asking for e-books for quite some time," Library Services Director Nancy Martinez said.

In order to read a book, users need to download Blio, an e-reader app the library subscribes to so they can provide the books. The app is free and can be downloaded on the library's website or through the app section on a phone.

Books will remain on the device for 21 days before disappearing from the e-reader, Martinez said, and three e-books can be checked out at one time.

"The interesting thing about e-books is you check it out and then the book checks itself back in," Martinez said.

The librarians spent $4,000 on the first round of purchasing e-books. Librarians focused on books that will read well on Blio, Martinez said.

For example, they chose "Stained Glass for Dummies" because it has detailed pictures. There is also a selection of travel guides so people can download them before a vacation and take them with them. While there are hundreds of books available, Martinez warns that the collection is limited because Amazon and Kindle have "cornered the market" for recent bestsellers. She knows when many people ask for e-books, they usually mean bestsellers.

The library considered using Amazon to rent out books, but the service alone would costs $14,000, and then on top of that, the library would have to buy books.

"We are too small here to have a $14,000 subscription cost. Our book budget is not big enough," Martinez said.

So the library instead went with Blio, another app that can be downloaded on Apple, Android and Windows products as well as the Kindle. It costs $2,000 a year for a subscription, and the first year is $1,000.

By using Blio, the library is able to get its e-books through Baker and Taylor. That is the same publisher the library has traditionally purchased its books from.

One of the main reasons the library decided to go with Blio is because it is a long-standing publisher and has the best chance of negotiating with Amazon for bestsellers.

The Blio software displays children's picture books well, Martinez said. It also has technology included to allow it to be electronically read to people who are blind.

To learn more about which e-books are available, go to the Lodi Public Library's website at www.lodi.gov/library.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

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