January 31, 2011
library users can now download audio books for free
and Highbridge library members can now download hundreds of audio
books for free following the launch of a controversial new online
library service this week.
The new service is being provided to library users across Somerset
by a consortium of South West libraries and can be accessed here.
It lets residents choose from over 600 titles, then download
them for three weeks to a PC, mobile phone or MP3 player.
All titles are unabridged and available simultaneously so there
are no waiting lists, and loans automatically expire after three
weeks so there are no late fees.
The launch is controversial since it comes during Somerset County
Council's ongoing consultation about closing six libraries - including
Critics say this week's launch is no more than a cost-cutting
initiative aimed at further reducing the costs associated with
lending physical books.
"All you need is your library membership card and a computer,
iPod or MP3 Player to enjoy this exciting new offer," said
Councillor Christine Lawrence, Somerset County Councils
Cabinet Member for Community Services.
"This new service is easy to use, available 24/7
and best of all, its free."