During her first year in Prescott Valley Public Library’s adult services, one duty was to purchase books for OverDrive, the eBook program the library utilizes, said Adult Services Library Assistant Carol Swenson. It was at that point Big Library Read, the world’s largest global eBook reading club connecting readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time, came up in her email, she said.
“So I thought ‘let’s put that out there. What I want to do is get people interested in trying an eBook,’” she said, noting that people don’t even have to have an eBook reader like a Kindle; they can read them through apps on their phones. “My incentive was let’s get people using this service that we purchase and use and have for them and then also because I’m excited about electronics.”
Last year, the book was “American Sniper” and the conversation revolving around the book included people from all over the world, Swenson said. This year, the library got to select from four books and the one selected was “Art of the Pie,” she said, mentioning that she was already reading the hard copy. It’s not just a cookbook though as the author, Kate McDermott, tells a story about her life in the book as well, Swenson said.
Those interested can check the book out between Thursday, March 16, and Thursday, March 30, on https://yln.overdrive.com and participate in the conversation at www.biglibraryread.com/art-of-the-pie/.
“It runs almost exactly like a book chat, except that you’re doing it on the internet,” Swenson said. “You could talk to somebody that has a passion for this type of a topic wherever OverDrive is available.”
The book can be read on all major computers and devices without worrying about wait lists or holds and will expire at the end of the lending period, Swenson wrote in a previous news release.
Swenson said she loves having someone come into the library and say they would have never downloaded an electronic book, but did because the library had it available. At that point, they’re pointed to the Zinio program, providing electronic magazines; the freegle program, which are music downloads; and preloaded Kindles that have New York Times bestsellers, she said.
There are limitations to the programs as they don’t have every magazine or song that ever existed, but even so, they’re useful and aren’t utilized to the capacity that library staff would like, Swenson said.
“I think people just don’t always think about the electronic part when they think about the library. Some people still think of just books,” she said. “I mean, we have a digital media lab … There’s a lot of technology at our library that’s not being utilized.”
For more information on Big Library Read, visit www.BigLibraryRead.com.