Cloud library now available to local readersWant to get more into e-reading but don’t own a designated e-reader?
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
Want to get more into e-reading but don’t own a designated e-reader?
The 3M Cloud Library system that was introduced to Washington County Libraries earlier this month allows for reading on various electronic screens.
The technology means readers can log into the system using their library card number and read books off of a number of different screens – from computers to iPads, iPhones to Androids.
“You can read an e-book on any number of devices because you’re not downloading it, you’re reading it in the cloud,” said Washington County Library Director Pat Conley. “That’s what somewhat makes it unique, in my mind. It’s extremely easy to use if you have a smartphone.”
The 3M Cloud Library app is available for download from iTunes, Google Play and the Nook Apps Storefront.
The eBooks are compatible with PCs, iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch, Nook Tablets and Android devices. It is not yet compatible with the Amazon Kindle, Conley said.
3M is in negotiations with Amazon to get the app working for Kindle users, she added.
To start reading, library card holders would download the app, enter their card number and select titles available in their local library catalog.
Conley said the Washington County Libraries system is starting to add more titles to its electronic library based on popular reads and experts’ opinions.
R.H. Stafford Library users have already been checking out books through another system called Overdrive.
But the 3M Cloud Library will be a lot less cumbersome, Conley said.
“The 3M product is so easy to use,” she said. “It took me five minutes before I was reading a book.”
Readers may discover a love/hate relationship with the system, though.
The 3M Cloud Library will not work with the Kindle and the selection is not yet big enough to appeal to everyone.
“This is an additional way to read. It doesn’t replace traditional books,” Conley said. “It’s going to give an additional way for people to access the written word.”
Over time Washington County Libraries will have access to more electronic books, but for now readers can visit the “3M Discovery Terminal” at one of the libraries to browse the catalog on the electronic kiosk.
The service is also available in Dakota and Ramsey county libraries.
The company first launched its Cloud Library eLending system in early 2012 with the St. Paul Public Library, connecting with more than 285,000 residents.
Now with the addition of the east metro library locations, a total number of 1.4 million residents will have access to the system, according to a 3M press release.
“It’s very rewarding to launch with these neighboring libraries, as a significant number of 3M employees live in Ramsey, Dakota and Washington counties,” said Tom Mercer, marketing manager for 3M Cloud Library. “There is a tremendous amount of excitement at 3M about the Cloud Library system and now even more 3M employees and neighbors can easily access the system from their local libraries.”
Dakota, Washington and Ramsey counties join 80 library systems across the country that now offer the 3M Cloud Library, including Michigan, Colorado, New York and North Carolina.
For more information about the 3M Cloud Library eLending system, visit 3M.com/Cloud.