Archive for Thursday, May 4, 2006

Basehor library launches ‘virtual’ program

May 4, 2006

With the state's new "Audio Books, Music and More" program, books, and music are as close as a computer.

Monday morning Basehor Community Library directors unveiled the new Internet-based program.

What this means for Kansans is that any Kansas resident who applies for a Kansas Library Card, either online or at their local library, can download audio books and music -- for free.

While the Basehor library contributed money to sponsor the program, assistant director Jenne Laytham noted the program is available to all Kansans -- not just those who live in Basehor.

The library is one of about 50 public libraries in Kansas that are sponsoring what's been termed the "Kansas virtual library."

"It's not physical," Laytham said. "You don't see it, it's all online."

Though the prospect of free audio and music downloads may sound like a new concept, Laytham said there's nothing new about it.

"People check out our books now for free," Laytham said. "It's really not that strange of a concept, it's just another form to get it."

Here's how the program works.

Kansas residents obtain a Kansas Library Card, either at their local library or online, at www.kslc.org.

At this Web page, there is a link connecting to Audio Books, Music and More.

Once there, users can peruse available titles and download them.

In the case of audio books, users may want to download a portion of the book, not the entire book at once.

Information with each title tells the user whether the download can be burned to a compact disc.

Or, Laytham said, the books, songs or other audio publications also can be played on the computer or on other portable devices, such as MP3 players.

"It's user-friendly," Laytham said.

The advantage of the program, sponsored by the State Library of Kansas, is that it can be accessed at the library where employees can give guidance. And, it can be used at home.

Moreover, Laytham said, more titles will be added to the books and songs.

"The advantage is you will have access to a lot more titles because we're going to be constantly adding more," Laytham said. "And you can do it at 3 o'clock in the morning in your pajamas when we're not open."

At Monday morning's unveiling, Basehor Mayor Chris Garcia and his wife, Janice Garcia, tried out the program.

Chris Garcia said it was likely they'd use the program to record books to play for their children on long road trips.

And Janice Garcia, who downloaded a novel Monday, said this was an interesting project for Basehor.

"I think it's very exciting that the Basehor library is part of the cutting edge of providing this service to the patrons," Janice said.

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