The Pioneer Library System’s Virtual Library collection just got a whole lot bigger.
More than 15,000 public domain EPUB books have been added to the Virtual Library’s collection from OverDrive, the provider for the library’s digital offerings. That nearly quadruples the number of titles available through the PLS Virtual Library to almost 21,000. The eBooks have been made available to approximately 100 libraries.
The titles are available through a collaboration between OverDrive and Project Gutenberg, a database of free eBooks established by Michael Hart, who developed eBooks in 1971. He later established Project Gutenberg to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.
“This gives people a safe and reliable place to download eBooks. It also gives people the opportunity to see the current titles available for download with a PLS library card. People can view and download the new titles by going directly to http://www.justsoyouknow.us/publicdomain,” said Adri Edwards-Johnson, manager of the PLS Virtual Library branch.
The public domain eBooks use the same Adobe Digital Editions software already used by Virtual Library customers.
There are some differences for cardholders from how they use their Virtual Library account. Patrons do not need to sign in to download the new titles, and checkouts from the collection do not count against a customer’s checkout numbers. In addition, there is no expiration date for downloads.
Audiobook downloads from the Virtual Library work with a large number of mp3 players. For customers who don’t have a fast internet connection, each of the system’s nine branch libraries has a download station for downloading audiobooks.
The system’s Virtual Library began using OverDrive services in 2008 and has continued to see its collection and usage numbers rise since.
Virtual Library staff members recently were asked to serve on an advisory board for OverDrive that is looking at ways to expand the compatibility and improve software use for its products.
A PLS Virtual Library card is available for individuals only wanting access to PLS online materials. The guidelines are the same as a traditional library card for the system – anyone who lives, works, goes to school or owns property in Cleveland, McClain or Pottawatomie counties is eligible. If someone already as a traditional library card they can access the Virtual Library materials just by logging on.