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The New York Public Library Launches eBook Central
New free service offers patrons both online and in-person help with e-readers
Starting today, patrons can head to nypl.org/ebookcentral for detailed information on how to download the Library’s digital material - including eBooks, music and videos - on to any major device. The website will also explain how to find and access free educational apps, including the Library’s catalog app Bibliocommons.
In addition, from Jan. 4 until Jan. 13, trained reference librarians will provide in-person assistance with e-readers at both the Library’s flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, and The Mid-Manhattan Library, located at 455 Fifth Avenue (at 40th Street). The free service will take place during specific hours from Monday to Saturday – patrons should check the website for exact schedules.
“Every year, right after the holidays, the Library’s Ask NYPL reference line is inundated with calls from people who need help with their brand new e-readers,” said Lauren Lampasone, digital producer from the Library’s Reference and Research Services. “We also saw a spike earlier this year when our ebooks became compatible with Kindles and people needed help downloading them. There is a clear need for this information, and the Library - which always aims to improve access to free materials - is meeting that need with eBook Central.”
The New York Public Library – in conjunction with its partner Overdrive – offers more than 36,000 unique digital items, including nearly 22,000 unique eBook titles, for kids, teens and adults at ebooks.nypl.org. There are nearly 50,000 eBooks available – including books in Chinese and Spanish – when multiple copies and various formats are taken into account. All that is required to access the material is a library card. The books can be downloaded to just about any major device, including the Kindle as of September 2011.
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-seven branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.