Library books you don’t have to return

Starting July 19, the Hennepin County Library is offering e-books for download on its website.

To start, approximately 700 titles will be available for download to portable eBook readers or other electronic device. Those titles include nine of the top 10 titles on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books, and children’s books by Kate DiCamillo.

According to Chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners Mike Opat, providing library books in a new format will encourage more kids and familis to read. It’s also being done in response to customer requests.

While the “eBooks” can be downloaded byt he Sony Reader and the Barnes and Nobles’ Nook, they are not compatible with either the Amazon Kindle or the Apple iPad.

People interested in downloading eBooks will need to provide their library card barcode number. Due to restrictions on the number of portable devices that can be supported by each computer, eBooks cannot be downloaded at a Hennepin County Library computer. Hennepin County Library is the first public library in the Twin Cities metro area to offer the format.

According to senior librarian Vicky Helgeson, the default loan period is 21 days, but patrons have the option of selecting a seven or 14-day loan period. Patrons also have the option of renewing their eBook loan. After the loan period expires, the patron will no longer be able to view the eBook content but will still need to delete the file from his or her computer.