Last week, we took my mother to get a library card, primarily so she could download books to her Kindle. The librarian zipped through the new member process but sent us to the research librarian when we asked about the downloads. We traveled upstairs and asked our question to the the woman behind the big round desk. She pulled up the library's website and within seconds was befuddled, admitting this was a new system to Pinellas County and she wasn't familiar with it. Fortunately, my husband is the family geek. He claimed the nearest computer, figured out the process and taught it to my mother.
At present, Pinellas County has 3000 plus books available to Kindle. My mother's an avid reader with limited income and mobility so borrowing e-books is a huge benefit to her. The download process didn't seem too difficult and the library's website featured a tutorial if my mother needs reminders, although that hadn't seemed to help the librarian. I spotted a flyer announcing an e-book class for Kindle users. No doubt the attendees will be the generations born before internet technology ruled. The younger generation probably already takes e-books for granted and feels impatient with libraries who don't offer their entire collection in a digital format.
With my husband and mother on computers, I headed to the Young Adult section. I browsed the spines; then looked up at the space already cleared for computers and even I, middle-aged printed paper fan, saw the book stacks fading before my eyes.
I write middle grade and young adult books with a magical twist. I'm represented by the fabulous Leslie Zampetti of Dunham Lit.
Lorin Oberweger - Freelance Editor