Virginia Lawrence | Caminito Del Rocio
When asked if the advent of eBooks has had any effect on the bricks and mortar branch library at 13th Street in Del Mar, Librarian Polly Cipparrone says NO. The checkout rate of physical library materials (e.g. books, DVDs, CDs) by the Library’s approximately 13,000 library card holders seems to be holding steady.On the other hand, the popularity of the San Diego County Library’s 5-year-old eBook collection with Del Mar Library customers is burgeoning. The checkout rate for eBooks in 2013 rose by 51%, and in 2014 by 91%. The appeal of this program may hinge on the fact that one can check out eBooks from home or while travelling. For those who have spent a bundle buying eBooks, the idea of borrowing them could be enticing, if not compelling.
The Del Mar Library offers eBooks, eAudio books, digital magazines, and over 400 digitally formatted children’s picture books. You can check out up to 10 eBooks at a time. The default checkout time is 14 days though you can opt for 7 days or 21. Titles are returned automatically. If a title is unavailable, you can place a hold on it.
Setting up your computer or portable device
You can read eBooks on either the Kindle app or the OverDrive Media Console app. Both apps can be downloaded FREE from iTunes. Polly reports that a large majority of eBook borrowers have told her they prefer to use the Kindle app which can be used either online or off. If you want to use the Kindle app, download it before you visit the eLibrary.
Borrowing an eBook
• First, go to the San Diego County Library (SDCL) website: www.sdcl.org. Click on the “eLibrary” button on the left side of the home page. Then, click on the “eBooks” button and select “OverDrive.” You are now on SDCL’s OverDrive website. (OverDrive is the web service that hosts the Library’s eBooks.)
• Next, from the SDCL OverDrive website, search for eBooks you are interested in. If an eBook is available for you to check out, you will see a “Borrow” button when you click on the book jacket icon. You will be asked to type in your 14-digit SDCL library account number and PIN.
• Finally, choose your preferred format and click the “Confirm” link in order to check the book out. Follow instructions to download it. If you have the Kindle app, the title will appear instantly in your Kindle library and be automatically deleted when your checkout time is up.
If you need help getting started, call the Del Mar Library (858-755-1666) and schedule an appointment for individual help with staff.
In spite of the presence of SDCL’s growing eBook collection, Polly says she still prefers the feel of a physical book in her hands. She likes being able to see how much she has read by the thickness of the pages between the covers. She does concede, however, that for travel the convenience of eBooks is hard to ignore.