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Libraries and the Availability of e-Books

Posted December 19, 2012 in Community Featured, Winterset

IMG_0700The following article was prepared for the use of local libraries by the American Library Association.  It was adapted by Nancy Trask to include information about the Winterset Public Library.

Today’s libraries connect (E-)readers but face roadblock  
Nook. Kindle. iPad. Winterset Public Library. You’ve heard of all of these, right? You know that all four deliver digital content? No?  Well, you’re not alone. According to the Pew Internet Project, most people don’t know that U.S. public libraries provide e-books and other digital resources.

Our library continues to change and offer new services and programs to meet the needs and desires of our communities. According to a 2012 American Library Association study, the number of public libraries offering e-books has doubled in the last five years, with 75 percent now offering the service. At the Winterset Public Library, we began offering e-books in 2008. This was not the beginning — nor will it be the end — of our commitment to reading, knowledge, imagination and lifelong learning for all.

Libraries help readers find authors, and they help authors find readers. We do this by selecting locally relevant materials, by inviting authors to make local presentations about their work, by hosting a monthly Book Discussion Group, and by seeking out collaborations with authors and publishers. Libraries are engaged in growing and supporting the next generations of readers — encouraging children and young adults to read for fun and for success in school and life. The Winterset Library offers three storytimes for preschoolers every week throughout the year in addition to a huge Summer Reading Program that involves all ages. Our Reading to Rover program helps new readers to gain confidence in their ability to read aloud. If you haven’t checked us out recently, now is a great time to stop by, log on, renew your library card or join a program or class.

But libraries face a roadblock. For the first time ever, libraries are unable to purchase many e-book materials, because six of the largest trade publishers refuse to sell e-books to public libraries.

Visits to the Winterset Library — both in person and online — have grown to 100,000 per year. We have worked hard to complement our public education system and to ensure access to information for every last person.

Please join with the Winterset Library in a future of liberating literature for all. Let us stand together with readers, thinkers, writers, dreamers and inventors.  Books and knowledge — in all their forms – are essential. Access to them must not be denied.

Winterset Public Library
123 North Second St.
462-1731 • Hours:
Mon. – Thur.: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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