With digital downloads of electronic books growing in popularity, the and Milwaukee County Federated Library System have joined a statewide program to purchase $1 million in new content in 2012 for the Digital Download Center.
The Digital Download Center offers e-books, audio books, videos and music that people can download to devices like iPods and other MP3 players, Kindles, Sony eReaders, Nooks and iPads.
"This is an exciting project that will dramatically expand the offerings from the Digital Download Center," Oak Creek Library Director Jill Lininger said. "Our investment is just a reallocation of a small portion of our library's planned 2012 acquisitions budget, so it's not an addition to our operating expenses."
The project took flight in May of 2011 when the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning (DLTCL) of the Department of Public Instruction sponsored a statewide e-book Summit. The primary recommendation from that summit was the need to establish a statewide e-book buying pool.
A committee from the summit, along with the the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium, set a target goal of allocating $1 million for e-books and audio book purchase.
"The potential of the Digital Download Center has never been realized because of inadequate funding," Lininger said. "The Digital Download Center now offers about 5,000 titles, but this collection will grow dramatically throughout 2012. The $1 million infusion will make this a very robust online library of downloadable materials."