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Library offers Lee County Download Depot service

By Staff | May 21, 2009

With summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time for island folks to catch up on their reading and the Captiva Memorial Library, as part of the Lee County Library System (LCLS), is making catching up much easier.

The LCLS Download Depot is an online resource containing digital books and music that you can check out, download and/or view at the Captiva library or from the comfort of your own home.

All you need is a library card, a computer, an internet connection and the proper software to enjoy thousands of audiobooks, videos, e-books and music at the click of a mouse.

By logging onto the Download Depot Web site, Lee County library card holders can browse and choose from thousands of titles from their home computers – even if they’re on vacation or up north for the summer.

“Once people have an account, even if they’re seasonal, they can continue to use the program,” explained Deb Czarnik, LCLS library manager for technical services and collection management.

Among all the available items for check out on the Download Depot site are 3,800 PDF e-books, 1,800 Mobipocket e-books, 1,900 Mp3 audiobooks, 8,000 WMA audiobooks, 1,700 videos and 400 music titles.

“It’s been a very popular service. We’re adding more and more titles every month. It’s the way of the future,” Czarnik said, noting that on average, the Download Depot provides about 5,000 check outs every month – that’s almost 60,000 check outs every year.

So what’s the best part of such a convenient service? There are no late fees!

At the end of the lending period, the download will automatically expire and be checked back into the Download Depot for another library patron to check out. The file will remain on your home computer, but cannot be opened.

However, if you decide to transfer the files to your Mp3 player, the files will remain useable until you decide to delete them.

Some items can also be burned to a CD.

“We do have patrons that use it on Captiva from their homes. They love it,” said branch manager Ann Bradley. “For someone who is vacationing and doesn’t have their home computer with them, they can come in and download materials on our download station to their Mp3 player and then they can walk on the beach or take it on a plane. And since there are no fines and you don’t have to worry about physically returning book, that’s very convenient.”

“I enjoy using it myself, when I’m at the doctor’s office or waiting at the car wash. It’s very convenient [and] I can stop and start wherever I want in the book. A lot of newer cars have a jack that you can plug your Mp3 player or iPod into. If you don’t have that but you have a CD player, you can transfer select titles to CD,” Bradley added.

Instructions for downloading and installing the respective programs are available on the LCLS Web site.

To learn more about the LCLS Download Depot, contact the Captiva Memorial Library by calling 472-2133 or visit http://lcls.lib.overdrive.com