Yolo County residents are enjoying free e-books and other digital media from the Yolo County Library now more than ever. Thanks to increased efforts to get the word out about the library’s digital media collection — including several workshops held following the holidays when sales of tablet devices reached record highs — usage of the collection has nearly doubled since 2011.
In just the six-month period between July and December 2012, Yolo County residents downloaded 14,233 e-materials across all device platforms such as iPads, other iOS and Android devices, and Nooks and Kindles.
In the coming weeks, the library’s digital media collection, powered by OverDrive, will have a new look and enhanced features with OverDrive’s Next Generation website. The upgrade will include the new OverDrive Read technology, as well as a new, responsive design that optimizes the website for mobile and desktop use.
Regardless of the device used, the experience will be the same, Yolo County spokeswoman Beth Gabor said. Additionally, new tools will enable users to find their next book quickly with a filtered search, personalized title recommendations and more. A video previewing these new features can be found at http://youtu.be/ncRTkQkgZcU.
The roll-out of OverDrive Read, a browser-based technology enabling instant access to e-books both online or offline with no software or downloading required, is expected to further increase usage, Gabor said.
“The new ‘see book, read book’ format is expected to reduce technological barriers to using the digital media collection,” she said in a news release. “If the title is available to borrow, users may download it as in the past, or they can choose to start reading right away in their web browser. Browser-based reading will sync the book’s progression across devices.”
Added Yolo County Librarian Patty Wong, “Our library staff pays close attention to reading trends and works hard to tailor our services to meet the interests and needs of our community. We are excited about this opportunity to increase access and ease of use for this growing collection.”
The Yolo County Library’s digital media collection is already searchable in the library’s catalog and monthly new title lists are available. For those new to using the digital media collection, the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis, offers one-on-one appointments on how to download from the collection.
To access the digital media collection, the library’s full catalog and branch information, visit the branch or www.yolocountylibrary.org, and to receive regular updates, “like” the library on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yolocountylibrary.org.