PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Library of the Future rolled into Market Square Friday morning.

The 74-foot truck is home to the Digital Bookmobile, filled with state-of-the-art library technology.

Computer and video screens took the place of traditional cover-and-pages books. Sarah Beasley, coordinator of eResources for Carnegie Library, led visitors on a tour of the 18-wheeler.

“There are MP3 players. There are readers. There are tablets,” she said.

She spoke to an audience of children, many of whom understand this technology better than their parents.

“Now, not only can you get the print books and the audio books and videos from the library,” she says, “but you can get downloadable eBooks, audio and video, all from the library’s website, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The Digital Bookmobile, outfitted by Overdrive of Ohio, is touring the nation. The goal is to introduce readers of all ages with the new technology.

“We definitely have a generation of people who only know books through an eReader, or some kind of portable device,” says Beasley.

She adds that the library’s circulation from its eAudio website has increased fivefold since this time last year.

But she has good news for those of us who prefer to curl up with a good old-fashioned book: “I think we’ll have printed books for a very long time.”

The Digital Bookmobile will appear Saturday at the Pittsburgh Public Market on Smallman Street, and in the Strip District, before resuming its nationwide tour.

Digital Bookmobile
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