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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2016

Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136
shelly.angers@dcr.nh.gov
Twitter: @NHCulture

After 10 years, downloadable books, magazines continue to be popular with NH public library patrons

In 2006, 20 public libraries in New Hampshire came together to form the N.H. Downloadable Books Consortium as an economically efficient way of providing audiobooks to patrons.

Ten years later, 205 libraries belong the consortium, e-books and magazines have been added to the collection, and both the number of titles available and the service’s popularity continue to grow.

In the past 12 months, patrons at libraries belonging to the consortium have checked out e-books 449,423 times and audiobooks 369,187 times. If these materials had been individually purchased by patrons for their own use, the total cost – based on a conservative estimated average price for the materials – would be more than $10 million. The actual purchase price for all materials in the consortium last year was about $267,000.

Magazines are new to the service; available titles have been downloaded 51,210 times in the past 12 months.

Public libraries participate in the N.H. Downloadable Books Consortium by paying an annual fee. Materials are available for patrons to download to their electronic devices 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The consortium is managed by members of participating libraries and is facilitated through the N.H. State Library. It is funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.

“Downloadable books and magazines are an important part of what’s available at libraries throughout New Hampshire,” said Michael York, state librarian and acting commissioner of the N.H. Department of Cultural Resources. “Belonging to the Downloadable Books Consortium allows member libraries to expand what they offer to their patrons at a fraction of the cost it would be to make the purchases on their own.

“It’s yet another way that New Hampshire’s libraries work together to get more ‘bang for the buck’ for our residents.”

The New Hampshire State Library promotes excellence in libraries and library services to all New Hampshire residents, by assisting libraries and the people of New Hampshire with rapid access to library and informational resources through the development and coordination of a statewide library/information system; by meeting the informational needs of New Hampshire’s state, county and municipal governments and its libraries; and by serving as a resource for New Hampshire. For more information, visit nh.gov/nhsl.

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