Christmas is past, and the New Year is nearly here.
Looking ahead to the new year, and the years ahead, what do you want to see, have and be able to use at our Costa Mesa libraries?
Two things that I would like to see at both the Mesa Verde Library and the Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library are study rooms for our students, which could also be used for tutoring, and separate rooms big enough for the children's storytime and other programs.
And that is just the short list. Let me know what you would like to see.
Write me at Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries, 2969 Mesa Verde Drive East, Costa Mesa, C.A. 92626, or e-mail CostaMesaLibr@gmail.com.
Figuring out e-books
Did you get an electronic book device for Christmas, and now want to download some reading material?
A program from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Costa Mesa Technology Library, (3033 South Bristol Ave., Suite Q, Costa Mesa) will show you how to download the free e-books from the Orange County Public Libraries website.
They will demonstrate how to download e-books on to the Kindle, Nook, Sony and iPad. Call (714) 754-4431 for more information.
Almost all academic libraries offer e-books, as do more than two-thirds of public libraries in the United States. For most libraries, including OCPL, e-books are only a small percentage of circulated items but represent the fastest-growing segment.
The Orange County Public Libraries are building up its list of e-books to be checked out by borrowers at all of its 33 branches. Various Friends of the Library groups have donated money for more e-books, and the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries probably will discuss if and how much we might donate to this project at our next meeting in early January.
I have to admit that I am no expert on this e-book business — I haven't yet even purchased a tablet or other device to read them. But having read a number of articles on the subject, I have come to see some of the problems that libraries in general will have to solve before they can offer e-books as widely as print books.
For instance, last March publisher HarperCollins announced that it would not allow its e-books to be checked out from a library more than 26 times, raising the possibility that e-books that are not repurchased would be available at the library for only about a year. Print books often are checked out more than a hundred times.
At the same time, libraries are working with their vendors to encourage publishers to get through the challenges of compatibility, digital rights management, format types and other issues while providing service to library patrons. Publishers don't want to see unauthorized copies made of their books. But copy protection should not interfere with readers' rights to fair use.
One group discussing this is Library Renewal, whose mission is to find new e-content solutions for libraries while making sure those same libraries are able to stay true to their larger mission of providing full and equal access to information and ideas. You can send your thoughts and comments via Facebook, twitter, The Library Renewal Blog, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The site invites other viewpoints and ideas.
Library programming for new year
Whether you read it on an e-book, an audiobook, or a regular paper/print book, Jeffrey Zaslow's "The Girls from Ames" will be discussed when the Costa Mesa Book Club meets at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9.
Looking to de-stress after the holidays?
At 6 p.m. Jan. 10, Dr. Ami Shah, D.C. will present her program "Stress Management: Boosting Your Health Potential and Reducing Stress."
This program is free and open to everyone, and no sign-up is required. Call (949) 646-8845 for more information on these and other library programs at the Dungan Library, 1855 Park Ave., Costa Mesa.
For information on programming at the Mesa Verde Library, call (714) 546-5274
And, finally, don't forget that all three libraries will be closed on Sunday and Monday.
MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa branches of the Orange County Public Libraries.