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Library sees surge with wireless gadgets

“More and more people are using the WiFi at the library,” said library manager Darlene Cowie
Austin Richardson uses an iPhone to check what eBooks and audiobooks are available for download at Clearwater Library last Wednesday.

A library has always been more than just books - and at Clearwater Library that statement is becoming truer all the time.

“More and more people are using the WiFi at the library,” said library manager Darlene Cowie. “People are also using the library to download free eBooks and audiobooks.”

There has been a surge in use of the local library’s electronic assets since Christmas. Many people received new computers, electronic readers and similar devices as gifts, and now want to try them out.

The local library has had its own WiFi network for several years, Cowie said. The wireless connection to the Internet is especially popular with those who only have dial-up at home.

People seeking higher speed access can visit the library with their laptop and make use of the WiFi connection.

This has an advantage over using the public use computers at the library in that there is no one-hour time limit.

One individual Cowie knows does his business on the Internet using his laptop from his vehicle, parked in the library’s parking lot.

Downloading eBooks and audiobooks is also growing in popularity.

Devices supported include computers such as PC or Mac, tablets such as the Apple iPad, mobile phones such as iPhone, and eReaders such as Kobo or Sony Reader, but not Kindle.

Items can be borrowed for seven, 14 or 21 days. There are no late fees because the item borrowed automatically expires when the lending period ends.

Audiobooks and eBooks can be downloaded by going to the BC “Library to Go” website at on the Internet.