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Library expands e-book collection by launching 3M Cloud

ROCHESTER — Rochester Hills Public Library patrons can now peruse an expanded list of e-books to download to their reading devices.

Over the last few years, Library Director Christine Lind Hage said, electronic book lending has really taken off at the library.

“Last year, we checked out almost 38,000 e-books. The year before, we checked out almost 26,000, and I think the year before that, we were at 13,000,” Hage said. “So it’s definitely growing.”

In response, the library recently added a new e-book provider, 3M Cloud Library — along with the popular Over-Drive e-book service — to its collection, giving patrons access to a growing catalog of titles from more than 300 publishers. E-books from 3M Cloud are compatible with PCs, Macs, iPads, Nooks, Androids and 3M e-book readers. However, they are not compatible with Kindle.

“One of the reasons why we wanted to go with this was because it offers some books from publishers that we are not already able to buy from, so this has been a great way to find new types of e-books to offer to people,” said Rebekah Craft, the library’s adult services manager.

Along with an expanded list of available e-book titles, Hage said there are two main benefits to the 3M Cloud provider: It’s easier for patrons to browse for new e-books using the service, and it simplifies the e-book downloading process.

With 3M Cloud, library patrons can browse both print and digital items in the library’s collection from the same catalog — a feature not offered by all e-book systems.

“It’s totally integrated into our catalog, so say you go looking for a book and you go to our catalog. You’ll see that we have it in large print, paperback, on CD and we have it on e-book through 3M Cloud. If that book is not available through 3M Cloud, it might be available through Over-Drive, but you can’t see that from the catalog. You need to go to the e-branch of our website, then leave our website and go onto the Over-Drive website to search it. That’s a problem,” she said.

Downloading e-books onto a reading device is also easier with 3M Cloud, according Craft. Using the 3M Cloud application, patrons can browse, check out and read e-books on compatible devices. To begin reading, patrons simply download the app, enter their library card number and select the titles of their choice from their library’s catalog.

“It’s the most simplified and easy-to-use format for downloading e-books,” Craft explained. “All you have to do when you want to download a book is open up the application, pick out a book and click on checkout. You don’t have to go through the website, you don’t have to log in with your library card every time you want an e-book. It’s just very simple and straight forward to use.”

Library patrons are invited to test drive the 3M Cloud Library app and use the new 3M Discovery Terminals — which have a touch-screen interface that lets readers find and check out digital content — to browse for and download 3M Cloud e-books during an open house 2-7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the library. During the event, a 3M representative will be on site to answer questions about the 3M Cloud Library, and drawings for prizes will be held throughout the afternoon.

The library will also offer an introductory class on using the 3M Cloud Library at 7 p.m. March 11 in the library’s multipurpose room. To register, call (248) 650-7130 or visit www.rhpl.org/events.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester, off of University Drive, three blocks east of Main Street. The library is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information about all of the digital services the library offers, visit www.ebranch.rhpl.org.

Why would the library spend money on eBooks that Kindle owners can't use? Isn't that a large percentage of the eBook community?

Is there any reason why the non-3M eBooks can't be shown in the library catalog? Can't someone fix this?