Kindle owners can now download compatible eBooks from the Alpena County Library. Information on downloading can be found at www.alpenalibrary.org. A valid library card is needed to use this service.
According to Library Director Eric Magness-Eubank, Amazon announced the move early in 2011, and titles are now becoming available.
"Overdrive is the service which provides eBooks for libraries, and we've been looking forward to this service becoming available," he said. "We certainly have a number of patrons who enjoy reading on a Kindle, and it's very convenient to be able to download a book from home."
The move toward eBooks does present some budget concerns.
"Now we have patrons who like to read in book format, and other patrons who want the eBook format, which means we need two copies to satisfy both groups," Magness-Eubank said.
The library board determined that the most efficient way to provide eBooks within the current budget was to partner with other libraries in the Great Lakes Digital Libraries consortium.
"We've been happy with the consortium, but we'd really like access to more titles," Magness-Eubank said. "We received a grant of $500 from the First Federal Community Foundation, and our Friends group has agreed to match that donation and any other contributions from the community."
He also said that eBooks average around $16 per title, and donations can be dropped off at the library or mailed to 211 N. First, Alpena, MI 49707. Online donations can be made at the library's website.