The Ephrata Public Library will start offering library patrons the opportunity to borrow Amazon Kindles preloaded with a variety of books. The Kindles will begin circulating February 15th. Library Kindles will be loaded with books catering to a specific genre for patrons to use. “We have a Classics Kindle,” explains Library Director Penny Talbert. “These may be books that are classified as classics but may not be available at all libraries. Now they’re all available in one eReader.” Other Kindles will include inspirational titles, New York Times Fiction Bestsellers, New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers, recently-released biographies, best selling mysteries and more. There will be a dozen Kindles available to patrons, all of them donated by the Friends of the Ephrata Public Library and private donors. Amazon launched the Kindle in November 2007. Currently, there are over 700,000 titles available for download. All of the library’s Kindles have titles preloaded so there is no need for patrons to do anything but start reading.
The eReaders will be available to library patrons aged 18 or older in good standing. Patrons must pick up the devices during business hours at the circulation and drop them off inside the building to a staff member, rather than in one of the library’s book drops. In addition, renewals will not be allowed and patrons must take financial responsibility for the Kindles if they are damaged or lost.
“Kindles can hold hundreds of books,” says Talbert, who, along with Assistant Director Abby Balmer, has been working out the details and selecting which titles will be included. “This is a new idea for libraries but we think the time has come for libraries to add this exciting medium to our shelves.”