The Digital Bookmobile is a 74-foot-long tractor-trailer filled with tech gadgets, touch-screen computers, and how-to videos designed to help readers learn how to use the library of the 21st Century.
Monday afternoon, it was parked outside the Mahwah Library in an attempt to raise awareness of the library's eBook and audio book rentals.
According to Mahwah Library Director Kurt Hadeler, the township’s library is one of the county’s most active, in terms of eBook borrowing. It sees more than 600 eBook rentals a month, and that number is growing, he said.
“Our eBook rentals are definitely on the up swing,” Hadeler told Patch. “We are seeing increases [in the number of people borrowing books electronically.]”
The popularity of eBooks in Mahwah is one of the reasons employees say OverDrive, the company that supplies libraries with eBook copies, decided to bring its Digital Bookmobile to Mahwah as part of its national tour.
“We definitely get a lot of rentals from [Mahwah], so we were happy to come by to answer people’s questions about eBooks,” Katie Yap, one of the two OverDrive employees manning the Bookmobile, said.
And the turnout of Bookmobile visitors in Mahwah did not disappoint, she said. Several hundred patrons stopped by the truck, which was parked in the library’s front parking lot for about eight hours Monday.
“We’ve had a lot of device-specific questions, and were able to set a lot of people up with the app so they could start borrowing eBooks from the library,” Yap said.
Residents said they found the event informative.
“I came because I was having trouble borrowing books on my Nook,” resident Kim Knieriem, who took her daughter Jaime to the Bookmobile Monday, said.
In the Bookmobile, “I learned how to download the app, which was actually pretty easy,” she said. “I learned what I needed to, and [the Bookmobile] is definitely cool.”
Patrons who stopped by all day enjoyed playing around with the iPads, iPod, Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, Windows Phone, and other electronic devices inside the truck, Mahwah’s Supervising Librarian Allison Moonitz, said.
“I think people really enjoyed this, and they learned about how easy it is to borrow books electronically from the library,” Moonitz said. “It can be a good alternative [to print copies] for a lot of our readers.”
Get more information about borrowing eBooks from the Mahwah Library by calling 201-529-READ, or visiting the Library's website.