Louisville Public Library Offering eBooks Online

by Devin Katayama on December 14, 2011

Tablet and e-reader users in Louisville can now check out around 5,000 ebooks from the Louisville Free Public Library website.

“You go to the library’s website and click on the ebooks choice. And then you look up a book you want to read and then you add it to a cart like you’re doing online shopping, and then you check it out,” said library director Craig Buthod.

The library launched the program this week. Cardholders will have between one to two weeks to keep an ebook on one of several electronic devices, like Kindles, Nooks and iPads. After it expires, the file disappears.

Popular titles are limited and only so many users may have a title at a time, so users may still have to wait to download books that are already checked out, said Buthod.

But he expects the catalog to grow as publishers see the demand, he said.

“The library has access to the publishers who are willing to sell to libraries and that’s not all publishers but it’s a really good start. I think other publishers will come online as they see the value and as they see revenue,” said Buthod.

For any readers considering the switch from paperback to tablet, here’s one caveat of the new system: no late fees.

Cost of implementing the program is around $75,000 so far, he said.

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