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SAPL Launches Digital Library Interactive Kiosks For EBook Checkout At The SA International Airport

Oct. 28, 2014 10:57 AM ET
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The San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) has partnered with Overdrive, the leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music and video worldwide, to produce the two Digital Library kiosks. The kiosks, which also function as rapid recharge stations, will serve as a gateway to SAPL's extensive Digital Library. "We are excited to bring such an innovative new service to the San Antonio International Airport," said Ramiro Salazar, Director of the San Antonio Public Library. "By partnering with the Airport and Friends of the San Antonio Public Library, SAPL is both raising the public's awareness of our digital library and facilitating access to it." SAPL Library cardholders visiting the Digital Library kiosks will be able to quickly access the Library's entire digital collection via the 55-inch interactive screens. Additionally, the Library will be debuting the first-ever temporary Library card feature, available from OverDrive, for airport visitors from out-of-town or for those who do not yet have a SAPL library card. Located in both terminals, the kiosks will also act as rapid recharging stations for mobile devices. This partnership reflects the airport's extraordinary focus on customer service and convenience for its passengers. Fast and easy to use, the Digital Library kiosks are just another innovative way the San Antonio Public Library is accomplishing their mission of changing lives through the power of information, imagination and ideas. "Nose buried in books" is a term which no longer holds any meaning in the technology driven lives these days. Instead we see noses buried in cellphones big enough to be called slates. Gone are the days when you find people with books in their hands. Ebooks have taken over the actual books due to their ready accessibility. With increasing number of people opting for the more easier to read --ebooks, City Express explores what the youth of the city have to say about : Kedar Patwary, a student at Loyola Academy says "Ebooks are great! They are easy to get your hands on and you can access them from wherever you are. I like ebooks because they save a lot of trees, plus you have the liberty to customize the font and size to read it the way you like. And the best part is that they are far more cheaper than paperbacks. Yes, there is always going to be a romantic notion attached to holding an 'actual book' in your hands and I don't think ebooks can ever take that place. I usually purchase the ebook version if the book is very lengthy (something like a textbook or a reference manual) and almost always opt for a paperback for novels and shorter books." The cost of eBooks are poised to dramatically increase at the beginning of the new year, due to changes in VAT. Readers will end up having to pay anywhere from 17% to 25% more on each title, depending on the country they live in. The European Commission recently unveiled a new ruling where member states will be taxed in the European member state in which the consumer is located, as opposed to the country from which the product is sold. Starting in January 2015 the new tax rates will be in effect for eBooks. The new VAT laws will prevent Amazon, Nook and Kobo from getting away with charging a paltry 3% tax on eBooks, magazines, graphic novels and newspapers sold to European countries, because their headquarters are in Luxembourg. In a few months, UK customers will have to pay the 20% VAT on eBooks from Amazon, instead of the 3%. This will increase eBooks across the board by 17%. The Luxembourg government stands to lose around €800 million a year from the ruling, while the UK and Germany stand to gain around €350 million each by the higher VAT rates. Amazon is testing an ebook-audiobook subscription service that will grant readers unlimited access to the Kindle ebook library for a monthly fee, a model that described as Spotify for books. Dubbed as Kindle Unlimited, the subscription service allows subscribers to "enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks for just $9.99 month," according to a page that was briefly posted on Amazon's US site. Audiobook sales have improved drastically since 2008, from just 80.85 million to 272.82 million in 2013. Access to audiobook has been made easier through various applications available for smartphones and tablets such as cross-platform spoken word service Audioboo. Audioboo, which is owned by the London-based Audioboom Group PLC (BOOM.L), offers audiobooks from some of the big audiobook publishers that include BBC AudioGO (formerly BBC Audiobooks) and HarperAudio of HarperCollins. Audioboom is a SaaS based digital social media audio platform enabling the creation, broadcast and consumption of audio across multiple global media outlets. Audioboom works with some of the biggest names in broadcasting across sport, entertainment and current affairs to bring their content to millions of listeners worldwide via Facebook, Twitter and other media platforms. Audioboom has over 1,700 content partners, including the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian, CBS, Sky Sports, Premier League, Southern Cross Austereo, Reuters, CNBC, Universal and Fox.

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