Library keeps patrons reading as e-book use up a quarter over last year

Signs in the window of the Library remind patrons that services are still available, including appointments for in-person visits. The library has seen a 25% uptick in E-book use since restrictions due to COVID-19 have been implemented.

PAYETTE - Throughout the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Payette Public Library staff and directors have worked to adapt their offerings for social distanced patronage as evidenced by their expanded online offerings. One noticeable use of digital resources by library patrons has been an increase in E-book use.

According to Library Director Clay Ritter, E-book use is up 25% for the period of March to July over 2019.

“Our busiest months at the Library are normally May, June and July so that is a good indication that our E-book resources are being used,” said Ritter in an email on July 29.

To be able to meet the demand for E-book access, Ritter said the Library diverted a portion of its print book funds to be able to purchase more titles and alleviate limited in-person access.

“We are part of a consortium of Idaho Libraries so fortunately our patrons get the benefit of collections curated across many libraries,” added Ritter. “The consortium as a whole has spent over $15,000 on E-books in the last 90 days and we now have over 14,000 titles available through overdrive.”

With COVID-19 preventing the Library from holding any in-person programming, Ritter reminds the public of the various remote programs the Library is offering.

“We are broadcasting Storytime through Facebook every week as well as offering Make and Take kits, and we have an online Summer Reading program through our website.”

The website also offers videos and tutorials for those using the make and take kits.

“We also offer many databases online through our website under the Libraries Linking Idaho website. Many of them are wonderful resources and offer things like the online Chilton’s Database, Ebscohost for online learning, and other forms of help for almost anything a person could wish.”

The Library’s summer reading program runs through Aug. 15, and is still accepting sign-ups, according to Ritter.

Patrons can utilize E-books using the Idaho Digital Consortium website.

“They need a current Library card,” said Ritter. “If they have any questions they can call us at the Library. It is quick and easy to set up and use.”

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