The Daily Gamecock

Local library offers free eBooks to USC students

3,000 choices available at Richland County Public Library

Richland County Public Library is offering eBooks free to college students.

Susan Lyon, the library’s learning engagement manager, is determined to make students aware of that fact. She recently visited local coffee shop Cool Beans to spread the word.

“College students are busy, preparing for classes, exams and papers,” Lyons said. “The public library can offer students some of the latest new fiction, pleasure reading or entertainment, to help you take the occasional break from studies.”

These students use their e-readers for class textbooks, magazine or leisure reading. On average, a Sony eBook costs $11.99, according to the New York Times.

Three thousand choices of eBooks download in seconds, easy to search and attain. All USC students have to do is go to the closest Richland County library, located at 1431 Assembly Street, with a student ID and ask for a library card.

Steps for downloading library eBooks can be found at There is a free application for iPad, iPhone, nook, Sony e-reader, Blackberry and Android devices. There is free software for use on computers, drag and drop library eBooks into dedicated eReaders like the Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader.

Simply go on the library’s website, click on your selected eReader on the webpage and download. Students can keep their selections up to 21 days. Unlike hardcover library books, the eBooks disappear off your eReader when they are due. A student is welcome to check out the eBook again if no one else is waiting for the book.

The only snag is that Amazon Kindles will not be compatible until the end of 2011, according to Lyons.

In addition to eBooks, videos, audio books and music are available for downloads. Students can always keep the music downloads.

C.J. Lake, a second-year public relations student, said the usefulness of the library’s service depends on the selection.

“If it were a textbook program, absolutely,” Lake said.

Emily Brasher, a biology first-year, said she would enjoy it regardless.

“It’s a free book,” Brasher said.

The Richland Public Library aims to provide a free, fun and easy avenue for local book lovers. Below, the library provided a step by step example of downloading using a Nook e-reader.

Get Set Up:
— Download Adobe Digital Editions software to your computer.
— Activate the software with an Adobe ID. This Adobe ID must be the same one used to activate your Nook reader.
— Browse available eBooks (fiction & nonfiction)
— Find a title and click “Add to Cart”.
— Click “Proceed to Checkout” and enter your RCPL library card number and PIN.
— Set desired check out timeframe and click “Confirm Checkout”
— Click “Download”.
— After the download process is complete, transfer the eBook to your Nook.