By Meghan McDermott
"They can download digital media for free and that's audio books, ebooks, music and video," said Renee San Jose with OverDrive.
Libraries are changing with the times, says Washington D.C.'s chief librarian.
"While we used to be the place that held the books we're now in some places the connection point," said Ginnie Cooper.
Many public libraries are making books available via their websites, for free. All you need is a device to download them and a library card. No returns, no late fees.
"The titles automatically expire at the end of each lending period. So there is no worry for the expiration date or having to go back to the library to physically return the book," said Cooper.
OverDrive, the company that manages over 9,000 library websites, estimates 30 million people visited the the website of their local library in 2008, a 63% increase over 2007.
"It's gotten more people reading one way or another. And I think the E-book format really appeals to a lot of folks. I see them on metro, on airplanes, I love it," said San Jose.
This fall six universities were selected to try the kindle dx, Amazon.com's newest digital reader.
"I like to think what you hold in your hand tonight is the future," said an unidentified Pace University Professor.
And how does the future feel for students at New York's Pace University?
"I have friends that have come out of the bookstore paying $800.00 for a semester of books. So the books being so cheap on the Kindle it's definitely well worth it," said Pace University student, Nina Shoeler.
"I'd rather, much rather, open up a textbook and flip to the page," said Pace University student, Dan Santagata.
The devices aren't cheap. The Kindle DX lists for $489.00 and it can take some getting used to.
The Tyler Public Library does offer an online electronic book check-out, which is compatible with any computer. They also offer audio books which can be downloaded to an iPod and other mp3 players.
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