Multnomah County librarians heart your new e-book reader, want to help you use it

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jan. 10, 2012 — For the thousands of Multnomah County residents discovering the world of e-books and e-readers, the library is offering new classes and one-on-one tutorials to help.

In January and February, the library will offer classes on how to use e-book readers to get library books from Library2Go and how to choose the best e-book reader for you. The library will also offer appointments for one-on-one assistance and instruction from experienced librarians.

Classes will cover all the basics -- setup, downloading, and which devices support library e-books and audiobooks. Library staff will demonstrate the checkout, download and transfer process through Library2Go.

Digital offerings have become a core service of Multnomah County Library -- with more than 65,000 e-books presently available to cardholders in various formats and hundreds of thousands of downloadable songs via the Freegal service. In the past year, circulation of e-books is up 263 percent at the library. Since 2007, circulation of e-books has gone up 824 percent. The library’s e-book collections will continue to grow as it ramps up its digital offerings to meet the demand from patrons.

“It is a frequent misconception that libraries are a place for paper books only, or that libraries and technology are incompatible,” said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. “Multnomah County Library has been offering e-books for nearly 12 years, and we are constantly updating services to meet the needs and expectations of our patrons. Rather than seeing circulation decrease, this library has seen checkouts of both traditional and digital materials skyrocket in the last several years. These classes are a great opportunity to answer questions people might have, and introduce readers to a new way to experience the joy of reading and learning.”

About Multnomah County Library

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house a collection of two million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services. Over 35,000 people use the library each day, either online or in person.