Electronic, digital audio books now available to Sweet Home Library patrons

Sean C. Morgan

Sweet Home residents can now borrow electronic books and digital audio books from the Public Library.

Trust Management Services, LLC, provided a $9,971 grant to the Sweet Home Public Library to help the library join the Oregon Digital Library Consortium.

The consortium makes electronic books and downloadable audio books available to patrons through Library2Go, also known as OverDrive.

The grant also is paying for new chairs for programs, book trucks for displays in the library and an exterior information sign.

“Every library OverDrive collection is slightly different because each library picks the digital content they want for their collections,” said Library Director Rose Peda. “All you need is an Internet connection and a library card.

“Many of our patrons have purchased dedicated reading devices or multipurpose computer tablets, and we wish to offer downloadable ebooks as an extension of print lending.

“As people age and eyesight diminishes, ebooks offer users the ability to enhance the reading experience by adjusting font size and screen background. Print ‘disabled’ users have an opportunity to gain access to many works previously unavailable to them. As a library, we would like to offer our patrons the right book, in the right format at the right time. Adding ebooks would enhance our service to our patrons.”

To access the books, visit the library’s web page, shpl.ci.sweet-home.or.us, and click on the “e- books” link at the top of the page. Select Sweet Home Public Library from the pull-down menu. Use a library card in good standing to log in.

Each library has access to a specific collection of ebook and audio files. If a book is not available, a reader can place a hold on it and download it when it is “returned.” Other books are available all the time.

The program will cost $3,000 per year going forward, Peda said, and it will be funded from the library’s operating supplies line item in its budget, which is used to purchase books.

Children have additional access to ebooks too, Peda said. She and Sweet Home Junior High Principal Colleen Henry jointly worked on a grant to allow Sweet Home students to access Open Ebooks.

Based on the number of families qualifying for free and reduced lunches, students from all schools in Sweet Home except Sweet Home Charter School can access the program.

Children need an access code to begin using it, Peda said. They can drop by the Public Library or any of the schools to pick up a code.

For more information about the two programs, call the library at (541) 367-5007.

The library also received this month a $900 Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution to purchase picture books to promote language development to improve kindergarten readiness. The Friends of the Library are matching the grant with $500, and the library will pay approximately $400 in matching funds.

The set of books emphasize repetitive letter and repetitive sounds to improve letter recognition.