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Digital Bookmobile Coming to Goleta Feb. 2-3

Visitors can learn to use the Santa Barbara Public Library System's free e-book and audiobook download service

The Santa Barbara Public Library System and the City of Goleta will be hosting the Digital Bookmobile for two days in February.

The Digital Bookmobile showcases the free e-book and audiobook download service available through the Santa Barbara Public Library System. The bookmobile will be at the Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 2 and from 1 to 7 p.m. Feb. 3.

At this free event, readers of all ages will learn how to download e-books from the library through interactive demonstrations and high-definition instructional videos. A gadget gallery — featuring Kindle, iPod TouchAndroid tablet, NOOK, Sony Reader, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and more — will help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library’s download service.

Library card holders for any Santa Barbara Public Library System branch or Black Gold Cooperative library can also check out and download digital titles anytime, anywhere by visiting All visitors who apply for a library card or show their current local library card can enter a drawing to win prizes donated by Camino Real Marketplace stores.

“The library system is fortunate to be able to offer the Digital Bookmobile for the only two days it will be in the Central Coast area,” Library Director Irene Macias said. “E-books circulation has really taken off in the last six months, and the library is trying hard to keep up with the demand.”

In December, the Black Gold Cooperative Library System, of which the Santa Barbara Public Library is a member, increased the e-book collection size by more than 18.5 percent, mainly through purchases by Santa Barbara Public Library, and downloads increased by more than 25.5 percent. This number doesn’t even include the downloadable audiobooks, which account for about 35 percent of all electronic checkouts, and also continue to rise in popularity as people become more technology savvy and downloading becomes easier.

The Digital Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor-trailer. This 74-foot community outreach vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high-definition monitors, premium sound systems and a variety of portable media players, all of which help visitors explore the Santa Barbara Public Library System’s download service. Interactive learning stations give visitors an opportunity to search the library’s digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and sample e-books, audiobooks, music and video.

Library users can take advantage of the download service 24/7 from the library’s Web site. From there, they can browse the growing collection of bestsellers, new releases and classic titles, and check out a digital book with a valid library card. Once downloaded, digital titles can be enjoyed on a computer or transferred to supported mobile devices. Many audio titles can also be burned to audio CD. At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically expire and become available to other users. Even more good news: There are never late fees. The Digital Bookmobile is operated by OverDrive Inc.

The Santa Barbara Public Library System has six full-service libraries throughout the county, including the Goleta Library. All library programs are free and open to the public. To download and check out e-books and audiobooks, or to find out more about library programs and services, click here.

— Scott Love is a library services manager for the the Santa Barbara Public Library System.


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