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Library To Offer Free Media Downloading Service




Archbold Community Library will offer a free digital media downloading service starting Saturday, Sept. 1, said Joyce Klingelsmith, library director, at the Monday, Aug. 13, board meeting.

The Ohio e-Book Project allows library patrons to download digital books, audiobooks, music, and videos onto home computers.

Since digital rights laws permit just one person to download a specific file at a time, materials are “checked out” for two weeks. After that time, the license expires and files disappear from the computer- with no risk of fines.

Files can be kept permanently by burning them to CDs, if publishers allow, or by transferring them to MP3 players. “We are purchasing these titles,” said Klingelsmith. “That’s why you can keep it.”

The media is incompatible with Apple software and iPods.

After a one-time $1500 subscription fee, the project only requires the library to spend $520, or 1% of its materials budget, each year, to add books and media to its collection.

For the $520 annual payment, the cost of adding 20 audiobooks to Archbold’s collection, patrons will now have access to thousands of books and media files, said Klingelsmith.

Board members were impressed with the service. “It’s a minimal fee for what you’re getting,” said Helen Row.

The library’s Internet homepage leads to the e-Book Project site, where patrons can access media files after downloading the free software necessary for accessing the materials and their digital rights.

Up to 10 items may be checked out at one time. If a file is already checked out, the service creates a waiting list and sends out notification when it’s available.

The project’s advantage is that it eliminates the necessity of physically returning books, said Klingelsmith.

For those with dial-up Internet connections, she said, the library will provide computers with the necessary software so files can be downloaded onto personal MP3 devices or one of the library’s three players, available for checkout by established library patrons.

Those interested in the service may call the library and schedule an appointment for instruction, said Klingelsmith.

Changes

After 30 minutes in executive session, the board approved an anti-nepotism hiring policy.

Diane Tinsman, board member, presented the motion to accept the policy with an amendment in wording. Corinna Miller, board member, was the only dissenter. “I think the policy is good,” she said. But, “it’s the wrong time to do it.”

Other changes to the library include cordless telephones and a television, said Klingelsmith.

RTEC installed a new cordless phone system yesterday, Tuesday, so when all librarians are away from the desk, they can still answer phones. The new service saves $189 per month.

Volunteers will install the television on the wall above the newspaper rack once Klingelsmith buys a wall mount.

Patrons will view closed-captioning news, or severe weather reports, if applicable.

“We have the remote,” Klingelsmith said of librarians.

Judi Rupp, board member, said the TV will be valuable. In the Archbold media center, she said students watched TV for information about the bus accident involving Bluffton’s baseball team.

Patrons might appreciate a similar access to information, she said.

The board also approved a $1,162 bid from Tom Vershum to seal, stripe, and patch the library parking lot. The lot was last patched in 2004 and sealed and striped in 2002.

Library Appreciated

The library re-opened the morning of the meeting, after a one-week closing to replace the carpet.

“It was so busy today,” said Row of the opening.

Miller said the day’s response showed the community’s appreciation for the library.

During last week’s closing, she herself had planned to use the library’s computer and Ellison machine before realizing, “I can’t,” she said.

“Everything went well,” said Klingelsmith of the carpet installation.

Rupp Furniture, Archbold, had the carpet in by Wednesday, giving librarians two days to put everything away.

All board members were pleased with the carpet design.

Also approved was a financial report presented by Marilyn Freytag, clerk.

A furniture and equipment CD was renewed at a 5.11% interest rate since the last meeting, June 18.

Freytag said she’ll continue investigating the library’s sweep account to maximize revenue earned from interest.

This year’s book sale brought in $1,569.66, said Klingelsmith. “We did really well this year.”

Rupp appreciated that leftover books will be picked up for sale in a used bookstore or to be recycled.

“Somebody using it as opposed to putting it in a dumpster,” she said.

Klingelsmith acknowledged a magazine subscription donated by Brad Rupp through the Professional Partnership Program, which provides magazines with green covers advertising local businesses on subscriptions the business donates.

All board members except Sandy Wyse were present.

Next meeting is Monday, Oct. 15, when the board discusses legislation, effective at the end of next month, affecting public record availability in libraries.

Freytag attended an Ohio Library Council meeting yesterday to learn more about the law.

In conjunction with the regular meeting will be a meeting of the Audit Committee, comprised of all library board members.- Alicia Buckenmeyer


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