The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 2 July 2010

South Ayrshire Council launches new e-books library service

PICKING up a paperback on the train or weighing down your luggage with heavy holiday reading could now all be a thing of the past, as South Ayrshire Council becomes the first local authority in Scotland to launch a free downloadable library e-books service.

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Council libraries staff launch the new e-book service at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.]

E-books – which are available as full text electronic versions of published titles or as audio books – are downloadable publications that you can read or listen to on a home computer, laptop, mobile phone, e-book reader, iPod, iPhone, MP3 player or burn to CD, giving you access to your favourite reads anytime and anywhere.

South Ayrshire is the first Scottish Council to offer this terrific free service, and all you need to give it a try is a computer, an internet connection, a valid South Ayrshire library card (available to anyone living or working in South Ayrshire) and a PIN.

In the first instance, around 200 of the most current and popular titles – provided by OverDrive, a leading worldwide full-service digital distributor – will be available for library users. Comprising adult, children, fiction and non-fiction, authors include Kathy Reichs, James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer, Tess Gerritsen, Danielle Steele, Roald Dahl, Sophie Kinsella, Dean Koontz and Man Booker Prize winner, Hilary Mantel. The list also includes autobiographies by the likes of Barack Obama, Frankie Boyle, Peter Kay, Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy.

Up to four titles can be borrowed at any one time for up to 21 days and they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the South Ayrshire libraries website. All you have to do is browse the titles, check out the one you want, download it and then enjoy.

If the book you want is checked out by another user, you can add it to your wish list and you will receive an email when it becomes available. Information is included with each title to explain the compatible formats on which it will play.

[Pictured: Councillor Margaret Toner leaves her bulky heavy books behind at check-in at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, and settles for an e-book instead.]

Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, officially launched the new service at Prestwick Airport. She said: “This is an exciting initiative that will further enhance the terrific online community established by our libraries service.

“By introducing e-books and audio books into our library stock, we are giving our customers more choice not only in what they read, but in how they read and for some, it will completely change their approach to reading a book.

“These new formats are ideal for use when travelling to and from work on the bus or train, for listening to while driving or out running or for just enjoying at home. For me personally, they will be of particular benefit when going on holiday as we all know how much we can add to the weight of our luggage by throwing in a few books to enjoy in our leisure time.

“And they could make a big difference to those who can’t get out and about, such as patients in hospitals or residents in nursing homes.

“This is a fantastic new service that confirms South Ayrshire’s position as one of the most innovative library services in Scotland, and I’m sure it will prove to be a big hit.”

To access the e-books and audio books, visit

OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor of e-books, audio books, music, and video to thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers worldwide. OverDrive provides digital download distribution for hundreds of publishers including Random House, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins. Barnes & Noble, WH Smith, Waterstone’s, Borders,, Papyless, and many other retailers use OverDrive to supply their eRetail stores. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

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