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Enoch Pratt Free Library Will Soon Rent Out E-Readers

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Check in and check out may be electronic and there are audio books for some titles, but by and large, the Enoch Pratt Library is full of words on the page.

Mike Schuh reports that may all be changing, though.

“It looks like a little tablet or your iPod, just for books,” said Roswell Encina.

At the Enoch Pratt, there’s an experiment in loaning out electronic books.

“People always ask what’s going to happen to libraries with all these e-readers and electronic books coming out.  We decided to embrace it,” Encina said.

They’re one of only a few libraries to do so.  At $250 apiece, these can only be loaded with books by the library.  Still, these are being given out to anyone with a library card.  No credit card or deposit is needed.

“There will be rules.  Patrons sign in, show ID, which we make a copy of.  If you don’t return, we’ll hold you responsible and it will give an itemized dollar amount you owe,” Encina said.

Each e-book has 22 books loaded on it.  You can’t change it or order something different.

“People are still wanting the feel of an actual book and pages, but I can’t deny there will be an actual section with docking.  Come up, get a book and walk out with it,” Encina said.

Will these succeed?

“Well, I think it’s a good idea,” said library patron Mike Simon.

The Nooks will be available starting Aug. 10.

Initially, the e-reader program will only be available at the Waverly and Reisterstown Road libraries.

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