eBooks now available through library

  • The Hartwell Sun
    The Hartwell Sun

Young readers and their families now have access to nearly 15,000 books through the Hart County Public Library from anywhere they have internet access.
The new eRead Kids digital library launched last week in all of Georgia’s 407 public libraries.  It offers nearly 15,000 electronic and audio books for children from pre-k through fourth grade to young adult includes a mix of fiction and non-fiction that can be downloaded to computers, tablets and smartphones.
Hart County Public Library director Richard Sanders said the new program was a smart way for the state to spend money on a program that reaches every library system in the state without having to pour too much time into equipment and logistics.
“I think it’s a very creative use of the money,” Sanders said. “The (state) legislature wanted to do something with the money and said here’s a big pile of money. Make it as equitable as possible.”
The local library already had a small collection of supplemental ebooks in addition to the access it offers to the Georgia Download Destination Consortium, Sanders said. The eRead Kids library adds to that and is universal across the entire state.
“This is something that is accessible to everybody,” Sanders said.
Some libraries in Georgia have been building a more robust collection of ebooks as people shift more and more into the modern, technologically driven world. Locally, Sanders said people still predominantly come in looking for physical books.
“Hart County skews a little older, so a lot of the people coming in want to check out actual books,” he said.
But with the eRead Kids program, the library has a chance to connect with a younger demographic and truly have something to offer everyone, Sanders said.
State librarian Julie Walker said the program is important to build strong, young readers in Georgia.
“Kids will build confidence and reading skills — and have fun — through eRead Kids,” Walker said. “eRead Kids will empower libraries to support young readers by offering a format convenient for traveling and entertaining kids, while growing their reading skills.”
The state library system worked with children’s librarians across Georgia to select titles and identify the most advantageous offerings and pricing. eRead Kids is made possible by funding proposed by Gov. Brian Kemp and was approved by the Georgia General Assembly. 
Checking out a book works much like going to the library, except it is done through the online system georgialibraries.org/eReadKids. Readers can check books out for two weeks at a time and can reserve books if all digital copies are already checked out. Some books, though, Sanders said, will be universally available, meaning there is no limit to how many can be checked out at once.
To learn more about the program, visit the Hart County Public Library or go online to georgialibraries.org/eReadKids.