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Posted: August 18, 2012 6:40 p.m.

Library to offer e-book service

Newton County residents will soon be able to download library e-books directly to their computer or e-reader from the comfort of their home.

The Newton County Library System will allow patrons to download audiobooks and e-books from the library's website beginning Sept. 1. As long as users have a valid library card and Internet access, no matter where they are, they'll be able to download digital books for free.

The new service is offered through Georgia Download Destination, gadd.lib.overdrive.com, and is powered through by OverDrive, an Ohio-based e-content company. Users will need to have Adobe Digital Editions to download e-books and the OverDrive Media Console software, which is free, to download audiobooks.

Books will be available to "checked out: for 14 days, when the ability to view or listen to them will automatically expire. Library Director Lace Keaton said one benefit of the system is that there is no possibility of late fees.

The service will cost the library $7,900, including set up costs, though the annual costs is expected to be $6,400 for access to 6,547 different audiobook and e-book titles, Keaton said. In addition to book titles for adults, Keaton said there are 1,068 titles for children and teens.

The money for the service comes from recent donations by Beaver Manufacturing, the Mansfield-based industry. Beaver CEO Bill Loeble said his company donated $5,000 on Jan. 3 to the Porter Memorial Library Branch for books and $10,000 to the Newton County Library System on March 12.

"These donations were made as expressions of our passion for education," Loeble said in an email, noting the company didn't specify how the money was to be used.

In a press release, Keaton said, "Our patrons have been asking and we are very excited to finally offer for this service. We would like to thank Beaver Manufacturing for their kind donation which has made this service possible."

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