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El Dorado Hills Library helps patrons plug into digital offerings

By: Art Garcia, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS, CA - If receiving an e-book for Christmas was as much a puzzle as a prize, the El Dorado Hills branch of the county library can help you solve it and open your world to 948 audio books and 1,561 e-books. Those totals are “growing every day,” said Carolyn Brooks, library branch manager. Now you can download free library books to your Kindle, Nook, iPad, iTouch, Smartphone or eReader, and the library will teach you how to do it, also for no charge. Tutorials are held at the library Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to noon. For an appointment, phone (916) 358-3510. “A lot of our community members received Kindles or other e-books for Christmas and don’t know how to use them,” Brooks said. “We want to help them access materials they want for their interest and knowledge.” The response? “People are very excited and appreciative, and they’re surprised we’re offering to help them. Some are surprised we have e-books,” she said. Trisha Ruckle, a retired Folsom elementary school principal who lives with her husband in Shingle Springs, was the first one-on-one e-book tutorial student, receiving her lesson last week from library assistant Hiliary Epp. Since Christmas, the library has been training three to four e-book users daily. Ruckle has an iPad but is going to Spain for two weeks in February and wanted a smaller device so she ordered a Kindle as a Christmas gift to herself. She’s downloaded travel books and recreational reading on the Kindle for her trip. About her first lesson, Ruckle said, “Hiliary was very good at explaining. She took it step by step and I was able to navigate the library’s virtual Library To Go system. I believe anyone with minimal computer skills can do it. “I highly recommend a lesson or lessons to anyone who wants to get an e-book into the Library To Go system,” she added. “You can tell they really enjoy helping you learn,” Ruckle said before leaving the library, a testimony to connectivity with an iPad, Kindle and smart phone under her arm. Twenty-five public libraries combined to fund “above and beyond” state library funding to post Library To Go on the web after state funds were eliminated in December. “But the collaboration of library groups said the system was too important to let go,” Brooks said. “All any patron who wants an e-book that’s not on the web site has to do is ask,” she said. “We can get it in an e-book format.” Access to the system web site is www.eldoradolibrary.org. There users will find a tutorial on how to connect to the Library To Go system. The most popular e-book on the system is “The Help,” recently made into a motion picture and with a waiting list of 118. There are eight copies of the e-book in the system; one of those copies belongs to El Dorado County and is available only to its customers, which makes the wait shorter. When 10 people add their names to the waiting list, the system automatically orders another copy of a popular e-book. Patrons must be hooked up to Adobe to use the system. “If they don’t have Adobe, they’ll have to get it,” Brooks explained. “If you’re not familiar with computers, you’re going to need some help.” Take your device to the library for assistance. The procedure takes about 20 minutes to connect to the system. “After that, it’s usually instant,” Brooks said. * * * IN THE KNOW E-Reader tutorials When: 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays by appointment Where: El Dorado Hills branch , 7455 Silva Valley Parkway Cost: Free Info: (916) 358-3510