Every major organization across all sectors are experimenting with cloud, and public libraries are no exception to this rule. Auburn Public Library is leading the way by using the Cloud Library platform to enable its patrons to access all the content they want.
Currently, the library uses OverDrive to give its patrons access to ebooks and downloadable audio books. However, they have to access it through a different website to listen to audio books. This can prove to be inconvenient because patrons have to search for the content they want on the library’s site, but have to go elsewhere to download or listen to it.
To overcome this inconvenience, Auburn Public Library is migrating to Cloud Library over the next few weeks, so users can download or checkout ebooks directly from a single site instead of going back and forth.
Cloud Library will be integrated with the library’s own system in such a way that patrons can access content directly from the library’s site, in addition to print content. Also, it will work in tandem with the library’s checkout system. Every time, a patron checks out a book, the system will prompt them to download the corresponding ebook or audio book.
To provide that, the library is working to have its entire catalog in print, ebook and audio book formats, so patrons can choose whichever format they want. Going forward, the need for more copies of the same book will go down, so the library can focus on expanding its collection. Particularly, it wants to offer patrons more back listed books, so they can enjoy a wide collection of content.
Library employees are currently busy marking each item in the library’s catalogue with RFID tags and barcodes that can be used with the new self checkout system. This checkout system is expected to become available by end of May while the Cloud Drive app is expected to be functional from May 11th onwards.
In order for patrons to start using this new system, they have to download the Cloud Drive app, as this will allow readers to read or listen to books right from their smartphones, tablets and even computers. Since this app is available on Android, Kindle, Nook and Apple devices, users should have no problem making this switch.
This move by the Auburn Public Library is another step forward in our digital lifestyle. The comfort and convenience that comes with reading or listening to a book for your personal device is unmatched, and this public library is taking giant leaps to make this a reality for its patrons.
The one downside to this plan is it won’t work with basic e-readers, and patrons need to mandatorily download the Cloud Drive app. This can be a spot of bother for those who’re not familiar with technology, especially the senior citizens. But, they always have the choice to borrow print books or they can take the help of library employees to download and install the app for them.
It’s hoped that other libraries follow suit to offer more digitized versions of books to their respective patrons.
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