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Checking out from the library — at home

Digital checkouts and downloadable audiobooks
By: Amie Toepfer
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A few nights back I was having a hard time sleeping. Normally, I would just turn on my light and read, but I had finished my book earlier that night and I really didn’t want to disturbed my husband, who was sleeping soundly. Luckily, I wasn’t out of luck; I had my Placer County Library card, my iPad, and an internet connection, which allowed me to go online to Placer County Library’s Library to Go page and checkout an eBook. I was set and this was all thanks to my library.

It was only a short time ago that the idea of going online, checking a book out and having it download to your personal device was something out of a science fiction movie, but in 2011 Placer County Library joined NorthNet Library System’s Library To Go consortium that made this a reality for Placer County Library card holders. In 2013, the library received a $20,000 Clean Air Grant from Placer County Air Pollution Control to purchase more e-materials and the library has been steadily adding to its digital collection since then. By the end of 2018 the library is on track to have 10 to 15 percent of its total holding to be in digital format, according to Mary George, director of library services.

So, what does this mean for the average library user? It means that you have access to library materials where ever you are! You don’t have to get in your car and drive to one of the library’s brick-and-mortar locations. It means that you can check out a library book at 3 a.m. It means that you won’t get late fee because your materials will automatically be returned. It means that you can take four books with you on vacation and not have to have an extra bag just to bring them along.

The library is constantly adding to the collection. Users of all ages will find items that are unique the eBook collection, but they will also find the latest best sellers or a classic that they want to reread. One of my favorite parts of this collection are the cookbooks. I love being able to bookmark a page on my iPad and open it up later to cook the actual recipe without having to have the book on my counter. No more worrying about spilling something on the library’s book, which is a total win for me.

Another awesome part of the digital collection are the downloadable audiobooks. They are amazing! Both my husband and I commute and these books have made our drives so much better. We love going online, selecting a book, and listening to it on our way into or from the office. It makes traffic bearable. I would highly recommend listening to the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. The reader transports you into the wizarding world with unique voice for each character.

To check out the library’s digital collection go to placer.ca.gov/library. Link on the Library to Go link. And don’t worry, you aren’t cheating. Every digital checkout still counts as a library circulation.