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NewsTribune Photo/Kim Shute Dana Fine, Head of Operations at Princeton Public Library shows young patrons how to navigate the library’s new e-book collection. The library, part of the Online Media of North America e-book consortium, has added a new juvenile collection, housed in a separate portal from the main collection for its youngest readers. Kids can access books, audiobooks and a small collection of kids movies and TV episodes. Most area libraries have access to online collections, and some also lend reading devices.
PRINCETON — Princeton Public Library’s youngest patrons, those who have grown up more tech savvy than the generation before them, now have access to an extensive online collection through the OMNI Libraries e-book group.
About 80 libraries throughout Illinois participate in Online Media of Northern Illinois e-book service and recently the participating groups voted to add a children’s reading room. The juvenile titles will be housed in a separate portal from young-adult and adult titles. This allows easier navigation for young readers as well as reassurance for parents that their children will not have access to titles that may be inappropriate or too mature.
PPL Head of Operations Dana Fine said the OMNI Consortium purchased $5,000 worth of e-books and e-audiobooks for the collection. The collection includes e-books and audio e-books as well as a limited number of movies and TV shows. Fine said the collection will continue to grow as time goes by.
“I’m excited about the use of e-books as a component of the services that our library offers. The e-books and e-audiobooks serve a need for patrons who enjoy the flexibility, accessibility and variety of reading and listening options available in a digital format. Some titles are only available in an e-book format, such as short tie-in novellas from a series or items from publishing houses that sell primarily in the digital area rather than running print copies of their book,” Fine said.
Digital lending also makes it convenient for parents since there is no need to round up and remember to return stacks of books. Once the lending period is over, the titles simply disappear from the device’s library. It also takes away the worry that little fingers that may be none too gentle with books could cause smudges or rip the pages.
Although patrons are required to use their own reading devices, the library does carry a number of e-readers and tablets on hand and will gladly give tutorials on how to set up and use the online library.
Youth Services Director Ron McCutchan sees the new collection as an essential option for young readers.
“As children grow up more and more tech savvy,” said McCutchan, “I’m sure we’ll see more demand for children’s materials in different formats. PPL has a great juvenile book collection, and we’re growing our audiobook collection.
“OMNI Libraries for Kids adds a digital option with selections indexed by genre/subject, by grade and reading levels and even by five-star ranking system. I’m impressed at the variety of titles, from new picture book releases to classic stories to great nonfiction titles.”