64° F Thursday, April 27, 2017

By mid-March, wherever Spicewood-area residents and their mobile electronic devices go, so, too, goes the Spicewood Community Library’s “Virtual Branch” and convenient access to more than 8,000 premium audiobooks and e-books at ctdl.lib.overdrive.com.

The private Spicewood Community Library has partnered with dozens of area lending libraries by joining the Central Texas Digital Library. Among its members are public libraries in Bee Cave, Blanco, Johnson City, Lake Travis and others.

“This development essentially creates a ‘Virtual Branch’ website where patrons may browse and check-out e-books and audiobooks,” said Jim Lamar, president of the Friends of the Spicewood Community Library. “The site went live on Monday, March 4, so patrons can now visit the site to take advantage of this significant increase in items available for check-out.”

“This consortium of 35-plus libraries pools its resources based on patron population,” library Director Jane Gannaway explained. “We will offer support for iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android, Sony Reader, Kindle and thousands of other mobile devices, making our 5-year-old facility compatible with most e-reader and audiobook-playing devices and methods.”

“This growing e-collection of more than 8,000 premium audiobooks and eBooks – all available on a single website – can be conveniently browsed, checked out and downloaded,” noted Betty Brooks, who runs various patron programs at the library at 1011 Spur 191, just below Spicewood Elementary School.

“The publishers are saving trees, the authors are gaining new fans, we are saving shelf space and sharing overhead, and our e-book patrons are saving money over purchasing books or driving many miles to retrieve hard copies,” Brooks emphasized.

The library, which opened in July 2007 and operates 22 hours per week, is fully staffed by about 45 volunteers. More than 1,200 library cardholders from the Spicewood, Marble Falls, Granite Shoals and Horseshoe Bay areas access the library’s more than 9,000 cataloged items.

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