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Demand Doubles For Boston Library E-Books

BOSTON — The popularity of electronic books, or e-books, is growing rapidly at the Boston Public Library.

Numbers provided by the library show the number of e-books it lends out each month has doubled since earlier this year, from 6,639 in February to 13,554 in September.

And that number will continue growing, according to Michael Colford, director of library services for Boston Public Library, especially now that Amazon has started letting Kindle users borrow library e-books.

“The more affordable these devices become and the more people get them, a lot of them don’t know where to start,” Colford said. “So if they’re already library users, they come to the library to figure out how to download a book, and try things out that way.”

In addition to librarians teaching people to use their e-readers, library administrators are now trying to negotiate with certain publishers that don’t sell e-books to libraries, Colford said.

To accommodate the rising demand, the library has moved money from other areas of the budget to buy more e-books.

“The money that has shifted over is still a relatively small amount,” Colford said. “I can see a time in the future, as more e-books become available and more people start reading books on e-readers, that that shift will become more noticeable.”

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