Evolving technology has made eBooks, short for electronic books, a more desirable format for readers across the globe.
Library Director Lynn Shurden said the new platform would add to the system's collection and make for a great Christmas gift to the patrons.
"We are really excited to offer this service at the library," said Shurden. "We are seeing more and more technology in libraries and I'm glad we're keeping up with the trends."
The addition of eBooks was a decision made in response to many requests made by patrons, and talks of purchasing the technology had been in the works for a couple years.
Budgetary constraints were an issue before the Mississippi Library Commission for the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) eBook Demonstration Grant.
"Since we received the grant from the state we're not out any money getting this going, and they mentioned that they will continue to support us," Shurden added.
While Shurden said she prefers the traditional tangible book, she agreed that the digital format is a convenient alternative.
"The eBooks are great for travel," she said. "I've enjoyed not lugging around a stack of books on some of my trips."
The eBook technology is made possible by the digital media collection Axis 360, an easy-to-use platform that is fully accessible for all patrons — including the blind and visually impaired.
To access Axis 360 and check out books, patrons will be required to download the free eReading application called “Blio” to their eBook devices.
A wide range of devices is compatible with the software, including: Kindle Fire, iPod Touch (3rd generation and up), iPhones (iOS 4.0 or later), Android (2.2 and up), personal computers (Microsoft 7, XP, and Vista) and eReaders compatible with ePub and PDF formats (such as NOOK, Sony Reader and Kobo devices).
Patrons will be able to check out two eBooks at a time for a period up to14 days.
To see detailed information on the software and checkout regulations, visit the library's homepage at www.bolivar.lib.ms.us.
Staff will be available at the library to assist library members in learning the eBook checkout process; assisting with software installation; and provide answers to frequently asked questions.
"We realize there may be some initial confusion and a bunch of questions considering this is a new thing for everyone," said Tamara Blackwell, reference librarian. "We are here to help and answer all the questions."
Detailed instructional handouts can also be obtained at the library.
For further assistance, contact Blackwell at 662-843-2774 x104 or Sharon Williamson, circulation manager, at 662-843-2774 x106.