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December 7, 2021

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Libraries urging patrons to check out digital collections

Digital library

Daniel Stasiewski, a marketing associate with OverDrive Inc., gives a tour of a digital bookmobile to Paseo Verde Library Youth Services Specialist Kristina Drury on April 2 outside the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson.

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William Culberth, 13, explores the 74-foot, 18-wheel digital bookmobile on display April 2 in the parking lot of the Galleria at Sunset mall.

The Henderson Libraries hosted a digital bookmobile Thursday afternoon outside the Galleria at Sunset Mall to let patrons know about the library system’s growing collection of digital media available for free download.

OverDrive, the company that runs the digital media collections for about 8,500 library systems worldwide — including the Henderson and Las Vegas-Clark County library systems — has been touring the nation with its 74-foot digital bookmobile to demonstrate how easy it is to download audio books, music and videos from the local library.

“The library is open 24 hours a day, it’s free, and you can do it all from home,” said OverDrive representative Dan Stasiewski. “All you need is an Internet connection and a library card.”

The digital bookmobile will make four stops at Las Vegas-Clark County library branches in the next week: Clark County (1401 E. Flamingo Road) on Saturday, Sahara West (9600 W. Sahara Ave.) on Monday, Centennial Hills (6711 N. Buffalo Drive) on Tuesday and Rainbow (3150 N. Buffalo Drive) on Wednesday.

Stasiewski said the system works like checking out a print book. Users go online, find the audio book they want and select it. They will then be prompted to download Overdrive’s software and their selection.

The audio files work on computers, MP3 players and most other portable devices. After 21 days — Las Vegas-Clark County patrons can select shorter checkout times of seven or 14 days — the software locks the files and they become available for someone else to check out.

“A lot of people are really excited,” Stasiewski said. “They like the idea of being able to download from home 24 hours a day and not have to worry about taking things back to the library.”

Henderson Libraries staff said usage of downloadable material has increased by 30 percent since January, but number needs to continue to increase for the system to maintain the service.

“Books on CD are very expensive,” Henderson Libraries Outreach Manager Evelyn Walkowicz said. “This can be a great use of money if we can get a lot of people to use it. It’s a relatively expensive service and we’ll need to see some growth in order to continue to justify that expense.”

Walkowicz said the digital downloads have been welcomed by library patrons as they become aware of the service, but getting the word out and helping people understand how the downloads work has been difficult.

She has adopted an explanation she hopes will reach the digital media generation. “It’s kind of like Netflix, only it’s for books and it’s free,” Walkowicz said.

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