Columbia Public Library eBook Service Soars

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COLUMBIA - Year-in-review statistics from the Columbia Public Library show eBook checkouts and downloadable audio books are up by 152 percent. In the month of January alone, 7,285 eBooks have been checked out from the library database.

Public Services Librarian Kirk Henley said the eBooks save a lot of space, labor hours and money. According to Henley, the cost of an eBook is less expensive than hard copies. The eBooks do not have to be processed, manually checked in, reshelved or repaired. Henley is thrilled with the success of the library's eBook database and is not worried about the hard copy books sitting on the shelves.

"I think there will still always be hard copy books. I think there will be at some point an equilibrium between the two. I know eBooks are going to keep growing and growing," Henely said.

Also making a switch to digital books is MU student Ethan Bonet. This semester Bonet replaced all of his college textbooks with an iPad.

"It weighs a lot less and I can carry all of my books to class. I'm not lugging around a backpack. I literally walk to each class with just my iPad now," Bonet said.

The Columbia Public Library offers classes on how to use the library's eBook database as well as how to use an e-reader. The next class will be held Tuesday at the Columbia Public Library at 6:30pm.