Ellie Anderson is Head of Adult Services at Ashland Branch of Jackson County Library Services, which she joined in 2020. She has a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University and a BA in theatre from Oberlin College, and she has worked in libraries in Monterey and San Mateo County in California, and in Princeton, New Jersey.
Ed Battistella: Welcome, Ellie. I suspect I’m not alone in saying that the e-books and audiobooks were two of the things that got me through the COVID lockdown of the last year. Have you noticed a shift in borrowing habits towards those resources?
Ellie Anderson: Thank you, Ed! I’m so glad the library’s electronic offerings have been helpful to you. E-books and e-audiobooks have been popular for some time, but COVID lockdown certainly encouraged new people to take advantage of how easy it is to access books and other materials electronically. Our library patrons love physical books, too, and are happy to be able to browse in the library again, but e-books have expanded options for a lot of people.
EB: What is the Library2Go?
EA: Library2Go is one of the ways library card holders can access our collection of e-books and other electronic resources. It uses the Overdrive platform, which may be familiar to long-time library users, and offers over 35,000 titles to check out on a variety of devices. In addition to Library2Go, library patrons should also take a look at Hoopla, Kanopy and TumbleBooks.
EB: As I explored a bit, I found all sort sorts of things available in the Library2Go. What’s available in addition to audiobooks and e-books?
EA: We recently added over 3,300 e-magazines in multiple languages to our Library2Go service, accessible through the Overdrive platform. Library card holders can also stream e-books, e-audio, movies, TV shows, and music with the Hoopla App. Kanopy is a source for indie films, classics, and world cinema, as well as The Great Courses and PBS content. All the services I’ve mentioned offer content for children as well as adults, but Tumble Book Library specializes in animated books and read-alongs for grades K-6.
EB: Can folks use the Library 2 Go Resources on any type of device?
EA: Pretty much. Most of these electronic resources can be used on Apple and Android devices, as well as on a laptop or desktop computer. Library2Go e-books and e-audiobooks are compatible with Kindle devices as well. If you are using a smartphone or tablet, you will need to download an app (the Libby App for Library2Go) and do a little bit of setup the first time you access our collection but it is pretty straightforward.
EB: I noticed a new interface. What prompted the switch?
EA: As the services libraries provide grow and change, it makes sense for the ways we interact with our communities to change too. Our new website is designed to highlight those programs and services while making it easy for visitors to find the information or library materials that brought them to our site.
EB: Are the materials available forever or do they eventually go away, just as books wear out?
EA: That depends on the publisher. Some titles are a one-time purchase for the library and others are purchased for a certain time frame or number of uses. Since electronic materials don’t show wear and tear the way a physical book or DVD would, publishers and libraries have had to come up with new ways of doing business together for these formats.
EB: If people need more information or help getting started, what should they do?
EA: Library’s website, www.jcls.org, is the best starting point. You can access Library2Go and the other services we’ve talked about here and find self-help guides for your device here. If you still have questions, please feel free to call or stop by the library or contact our Digital Services specialists for a one-on-one appointment. Digital Services can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 541 734-3990.
EB: Any personal recommendations? What are you reading?
EA: I’ve just started reading The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, which is a novel based on the real-life Packhorse Librarians who brought books and information to small communities in Rural Kentucky during the Depression. Next on my list is The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, a fantasy story about an orphanage for magical children and the power of chosen family.
EB: Thanks for sharing all this with us.
EA: Anytime. Librarians love to spread the word about our services.