Cardholders can check out digital books from the library's website and download them to their computer or mobile device for two weeks. The e-books automatically return to the library after that.
"It's almost instantaneous," said library Director Jeff Tomlinson of the time required to check out an e-book. "You just click on it, and it's there."
E-books are digital versions of their paper-and-ink predecessors that consumers download onto a computer or mobile device for a fee. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Mississippi Library Commission this year, public libraries now can buy large quantities of e-books and loan them to patrons as they would the physical versions: For free, for a limited time.
Among the books available from Lee County are best-selling novels by Janet Evanovich, Karin Slaughter and John Grisham.
Lee County Library won't provide the mobile reading devices, however. Patrons must have their own.
Tomlinson said the system currently works with Kindle Fire, any PC computer, Android phones, iPads, iPhones and the iPod touch. It also works with Mac computers that have the newest operating system.
It doesn't work with Nook or the regular Kindle.
"We hope to have compatibility with those devices soon," Tomlinson said.
In addition to a computer or mobile device, patrons also need a library card and must download a free "Blio" application from the library website.
Library staff are trained and available to help patrons navigate the system if needed.
What To Do
To checkout an e-book, go to www.li.lib.ms.us and click EBooks.