NEW YORK, N.Y.-
In an effort to help New Yorkers understand their Kindles, Nooks, iPads and other e-readers, The New York Public Library
has launched a new free service called eBook Central.
Starting December 27 2011, patrons can head to nypl.org/ebookcentral for detailed information on how to download the Librarys digital material - including eBooks, music and videos - on to any major device. The website will also explain how to find and access free educational apps, including the Librarys catalog app Bibliocommons.
In addition, from Jan. 4 until Jan. 13, trained reference librarians will provide in-person assistance with e-readers at both the Librarys flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, and The Mid-Manhattan Library, located at 455 Fifth Avenue (at 40th Street). The free service will take place during specific hours from Monday to Saturday patrons should check the website for exact schedules.
Every year, right after the holidays, the Librarys Ask NYPL reference line is inundated with calls from people who need help with their brand new e-readers, said Lauren Lampasone, digital producer from the Librarys Reference and Research Services. We also saw a spike earlier this year when our ebooks became compatible with Kindles and people needed help downloading them. There is a clear need for this information, and the Library - which always aims to improve access to free materials - is meeting that need with eBook Central.
The New York Public Library in conjunction with its partner Overdrive offers more than 36,000 unique digital items, including nearly 22,000 unique eBook titles, for kids, teens and adults at ebooks.nypl.org. There are nearly 50,000 eBooks available including books in Chinese and Spanish when multiple copies and various formats are taken into account. All that is required to access the material is a library card. The books can be downloaded to just about any major device, including the Kindle as of September 2011.