Schools get access to Delaware County library e-books – Columbus Dispatch

Digital books, movies and music are everywhere, mostly in places you can’t see.

A new program in Delaware County wants to make the materials visible by using digital
downloading stations in public schools.

File sharing, Netflix and other sources of digital materials have long been a concern for
booksellers and record stores, but libraries also fear losing their traditional role as book
repositories. And not everyone is aware that libraries also offer free digital materials to the
public.

So when grant funding became available to buy the OverDrive Media Station, the Delaware County
District Library quickly set up five kiosks for school libraries.

Large touch-screen displays are in Olentangy Liberty Middle School, Delaware Hayes High School,
Buckeye Valley High School and the Delaware County branch of Columbus State Community College, all
of which are within the library district.

The devices create a sort of mini-branch library within the schools.

“It gives a physical presence to an otherwise non-physical collection,” said Nicole Fowles,
Delaware library spokeswoman.

At Columbus State, even during summer break, several students have been drawn to the
station.

“Mainly the response was, ‘This is really cool. I want to play around with it,’ ” said Dana
Knott, library coordinator for Columbus State.

Customers log in with a library card and browse the latest titles, which they can download to a
smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

For cash-strapped schools, the digital offerings expand the media collections of school
libraries by about 67,000 titles at no additional cost to the schools.

“School librarians expressed a wish for more public-library materials in their media centers,
but additional space for these collections is limited, and it is nearly impossible for the schools
to take on the added burden of public-library circulation policies and practices,” said Don Yarman,
deputy director of the Delaware library.

“That probably quadruples the size of our library, and it maintains itself,” said Heather Day,
library and media specialist at Buckeye Valley High School.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Kaela Ream, a senior at Buckeye Valley. “It has all the popular
books. And those can take weeks to find at the library.”

The $5,000 grant came from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, through the
State Library of Ohio.

Fowles said the demand from students will indicate whether the program will be expanded in the
district.

“It’s a tool for the next generation who know that libraries exist but don’t necessarily know
all the resources that are available,” she said.

“It helps them to have access to books that they want to read in a format that they want to use
on their own time.”

dnarciso@dispatch.com

@DeanNarciso