To find a company that could deliver electronic versions of best-selling titles 24 hours a day, Cleveland Public Library
collection manager Cynthia Orr headed to a conference in Atlanta.
It turns out, she never had to leave Cleveland.
During that trip, she met fellow Clevelander Steve Potash, the
CEO of Cleveland-based OverDrive Inc., one of the leading global
providers of eBook systems.
Six months later, a digital library of 2,800 titles made its
debut on the Cleveland Public Library Web site (www.cpl.org).
Since the program was introduced last year, the number of eBooks
"checked out" has grown to as many as 800 titles a month. Visitors
can download titles in both Adobe and Palm formats for offline
reading. All you need is a library card and In�ernet access
to check out a title for three weeks. Once those three weeks are
up, the book is checked back into the library catalog and
disappears from your PC.
While some purists frown upon the idea of screens replacing
paper, Orr points out ghat the younger generation is already
comfortable with it. Potash, a father of three children,
"The next generation will come into the marketplace used to
onscreen reading," he says. "The day will come when kids can shed
their heavy backpacks. I?m very excited to be a part of this."
-- Marina Takahashi