PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Libraries are doing everything they can to keep people coming back.
Some are waiving late fees. Others say a record number of people are downloading digital books, too.
But this is the age of electronics, and the Carnegie Libraries will not be left behind.
“The libraries in Allegheny County had almost 2 million in circulations in 2019,” said Hilary Lewis, the coordinator for e-resources at the Carnegie Library.
That was a record-breaking number in digital books, audiobooks and magazines.
More than 5,300 titles are circulated each day and gaining access is as easy as pulling out your library card.
“You can access through the website, the library website or you can download the Libby app and you can get that from your App Store and it just takes a few moments to get signed in,” Lewis said.
So who has gone electronic? All age groups and the features keep them coming got back.
“An audiobook or an ebook or magazine will return automatically on the due date so there is no fee associated,” Lewis said.
It gets better.
Once the book has been returned and you haven’t finished, when you check it out again, it automatically remembers where you left off.
“You can adjust font sizes, the lighting, the backlight, there are dyslexia fonts,” Lewis said. “There are a lot of options.”
And this is all free with your library card, which is also free.
Library Manager Maria Joseph says it’s a way to draw more people to the library.
“It’s just another way of people being able to use the library. We are trying to get books in the hands of his many people as we can whether it’s the print version or the digital version. We don’t care, it’s all good,” Joseph said.
Another way the Carnegie Library is trying to draw people back is by eliminating late fees of $.30 a day for overdue items.
A pilot program began back in November at three locations: the North Side, Knoxville and East Liberty, where late fees were high.
The Carnegie finds it is working. There has been an increase in card sign-ups.