By CARL SMITH
As technological advances redefine the world each day, businesses and industries continue to stay ahead of the curve by investing in the latest innovations.
The Starkville-Oktibbeha County Public Library System is no different and has used grants and other funding to redefine what libraries offer in terms of products and services.
For the past months, the library system has put over 20 Barnes & Noble Nook e-readers and almost 10 Amazon Kindles into the hands of its patrons, and the digital readers have been a success. Funding for the e-book readers was provided after the library system secured grants, library board of trustees member Jack McCarty said.
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors accepted a $190,000 budget request from McCarty, who was supported by members of Friends of Starkville Library, a group of private donors who help fund the library’s efforts. McCarty said a portion of future funding could be used to expand the e-book program further.
“Electronic media is one thing we’re taking a serious look at. We feel we’re on the cutting edge of technology from a public library point,” McCarty said. “The e-readers have been successful so far. Part of this budget secured from our partners would be used to stay on forefront of this technology.”
Kara Roberts, an interlibrary loan worker at Starkville Public Library, said there are waiting lists for each digital reader because of high public demand. The e-readers slated for children have almost 100 books suitable for younger audiences on them, while adult e-readers have approximately 130 titles, she said.