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Library News Release

Release Date: 09/09/2005

The Seattle Public Library adds new service: Patrons can download digital audio books and e-books

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 14, The Seattle Public Library will offer patrons access to an online collection of hundreds of downloadable digital audio books and e-books from their home computers.

With this new service, patrons can use their library cards to log on to the Library's Web site at www.spl.org, check out and download the audio and e-books. The books can be read on home computers or transferred to portable devices for reading and listening.

Patrons may download six books at a time and place holds on up to 10 titles. The books are automatically returned after the three-week lending period.

"It will be great for a patron to be able to download, for example, a copy of 'The Historian' by Elizabeth Kostova and listen to it while they're out running," said Tom Horne, the Library's selection services manager. "We're really glad to be able to provide this service. It's going to be very popular."

The first time patrons download a book, they will be asked to install and register the free software that runs the service, which is called "Overdrive."

The collection, which includes hundreds of titles for adults, children and teens, was selected by Library staff to fit the reading and listening tastes of patrons. It features general fiction, mysteries, science fiction and fantasy, romance, nonfiction and more.

While patrons may browse the collection and check out a digital book from Library locations, they won't be able to download digital books because the Library computers do not have downloading capabilities.

e-books are digital versions of books that can be read on home computers, smartphones and some personal digital assistants. Patrons can listen to audio books on personal computers and some audio devices, though iPods are not compatible with the format.

Go to the Digital Book Collections.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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