La Mesa Library gets special visit from digital bookmobile, turns new page in library outreach

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Mule-drawn wagons, bookmobiles if you will, carrying boxes of library books of the likes used in 1904 have changed. Dramatically.

A modern, digital bookmobile arrived Nov. 15 at the La Mesa Library and offered those who visited the 53-ft truck lessons on how to access thousands of books online.

Mule-drawn wagons, bookmobiles if you will, carrying boxes of library books of the likes used in 1904 have changed. Dramatically.

A modern, digital bookmobile arrived Nov. 15 at the La Mesa Library and offered those who visited the 53-ft truck lessons on how to access thousands of books online.

“How do you do this?” questioned a visitor before entering the digital bookmobile. Exactly the question the County of San Diego Library management encouraged by having the vehicle visit the La Mesa and Poway locations. Learning how to download e-books and audio books was the focus of the bookmobile’s visit.

The County of San Diego Library uses a free app, named Libby, to offer access to e-books and audio books. Readers can install the app from their device’s store, find their local library and browse the library’s collection. Then use their valid library card, browse titles on their SHELF and download the e-book to read.

“All ages are embracing digital media and we’re happy to provide it,” said Chelsie Harris, La Mesa Library’s branch manager.

“It’s just easy,” said Madeline McCobs, of La Mesa, about the e-book process.

“This is our second to last event of the year – we started in February in Berkeley,” said Joe Skelley, marketing and digital manager for OverDrive, the company that does the tour and mans the digital bookmobile. “We have our Wi-Fi, tablets, smart phones, touch screens, iPad and computers just to show how to use e-books online. We cater to all ages.”

Paw Patrol, LOL Surprise! Books and the Harry Potter book series were youth-oriented books Skelley noted that are popular. Books about Trump, such as Omarosa Manigault Newman’s book, “Unhinged,” is popular with adults. Currently, the western states prefer thrillers and the eastern states prefers cozy mysteries he noted. All these e-books, once again, require a library card, an internet connection and the Libby app.

“When my dog was a puppy, he tore apart a library book, I had to pay for it,” said Jennifer Lamb, of Spring Valley. Lamb visited the digital bookmobile with her four kids. Her experience highlighted why e-books can be preferred over hard copy books. Lamb visits the library at least three times a month with her children.

Skelley emphasized that e-libraries do not close for holidays and are 24/7. The available book collection includes self-published books, books by publishers such as Simon & Schuster, Penguin Books and many more titles.

“We want entire families to download e-books for free. It’s just a different way of learning for kids,” said Veronica Estrada, Librarian II-Youth Services.

Kindle Fire HD 8, iPOD Touch, Kindle Voyage, Huawei MediaPAD T3, and Google Chromebook were just a few of the brands that personalized the visit for all owners of each type of product.

“You watch a lot of YouTube and I don’t think I like it,” said a mom towing two kids into the library.  The kids were about to get introduced to the world of books, hard copy and online.

Visit:  https://sdcl.overdrive.com/ for more information on downloading e-books.  The website for the County of San Diego Library is: www.sdcl.org.