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Bookworms download media at bookmobile

Digital librarian helped visitors learn how to check out books, audiobooks, music and videos

Posted: February 5, 2012 9:53 p.m.
Updated: February 5, 2012 9:53 p.m.
 


The Overdrive Digital Bookmobile rolled into town Sunday and found plenty of readers eager to read on paperless books.

Book lovers, young and old — many of them gray-haired — arrived at the Overdrive Digital Bookmobile parked at the Valencia Library on Magic Mountain Parkway, digital books in hand.

They came with Nooks, iPads and Kindles wanting to know how to download library books onto their handheld electronic devices.

“What I hear the most is that people are just excited to be able to download and want to know how to do it,” said Dan Conochan, the digital bookmobile librarian.

Conochan, who calls Cleveland his home, travels across the country bringing the digital world that much closer to people.

Will digitally downloaded books replace paper ones?

“Absolutely not,” he said.

And, he should know, visiting a new American town every day and hearing their views on books old and made of paper, and newer ones made of binary code.

“It’s my first time in California,” Conochan said. “It’s pretty nice.”

The Digital Bookmobile is a community outreach vehicle available for public libraries to promote downloadable e-books, audiobooks, music and video.

The 74-foot, 18-wheel tractor-trailer has nothing that resembles the bookmobiles many grey-haired book lovers recall from their childhood — no musky browning paperbacks, or dogged-eared copies of books touched by thousands on the road.

The Digital Bookmobile creates an engaging download experience around the host library’s digital media collection and “Virtual Branch” download website.

Inside the rolling book show is a bank of high-tech monitors, equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high-definition monitors, premium sound systems and a variety of portable media players.

Jane Hughes showed up with her Nook in hand.

“I love the Nook,” she said. “I love it because I can read it anywhere.”

The next stop for the digital bookmobile is Palm Desert.

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