TEMPLE (December 17, 2012)—Residents using the Temple Public Library’s digital collection could wait months before getting to read an e-book or check out audio books, music or videos.
The Temple Public Library shares its digital library of e-books, audio books, music and videos with about 30 other public libraries in Central Texas, which means more resources, but also more people wanting to check out the same items.
Kindle e-book reader Tad Elliott says he has seen waiting lists as long as several months.
"I don't like to spend $15 or $20 for a book, so I tend to go to the library a lot," Elliot said.
He said he's checked out about 15 e-books from the Temple Public Library just this year because it's convenient and free.
But it's not always so easy.
"People get discouraged," said Judy Duer, director of Temple Public Library.
"They're thinking, 'It's an e-book, everybody can check it out,' but that's not the way the licensing has been structured by publishers."
Duer said even though it's an e-book, only one person can have that license at a time; until they return it, the next person can't check it out.
Library directors such as Duer are working with other area directors to find a way to shorten the waiting lists so that everyone will have a chance to read at their own pace and convenience.
"We need to have more copies of the more popular books and try to go for the ones we think the people are downloading, and it's not that hard to tell that because we see the wait list for the different items," Duer said.