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Library gets grant to add books to digital service

The William Bradford Huie Library, Hartselle’s public library, has received a grant that will allow the library to extend its digital checkout service.

Emily Love, director of the Hartselle Public Library, said the grant, which is funded by the Alabama Public Library Service, will help her purchase about 150 to 200 digital books to its Camelia Net collection.

The free service allows Hartselle Public Library members to digitally check out books and read them on computers, iPads, Kindles or other types of digital readers.

“We were a bit surprised to get this grant,” Love said. “No one had applied for this grant and was wanting to use the money to add books to Camelia Net. We tried and got the grant.”

Love said the library has seen the number of library cardholders increase after the library added this digital service.

“We’ve probably added about 700 patrons since Oct. 1 of last year,” Love said. “I don’t know if that’s all because of Camelia Net, but we do know that it’s one of the things we’re asked about the most.”

Love said one of the best aspects of this service is that readers can enlarge the text without having to use magnifying glasses.

“You can make the print larger so you can see it easier,” Love said. “You don’t have to have those magnifying glasses any more.”

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patrons do not have to be at the library to access the service, but they must first have a library card and card number to access the service.

Once there, a patron can check out up to five books at a time for 14 days, when the books will disappear from the computer or e-reader. You can also put up to five books on hold at a time, so you can check them out once a copy becomes available.

Hartselle began offering this service earlier this year after receiving a $3,000 community service grant from State Rep. Ed Henry’s (R-Hartselle) office.