Last updated: July 28. 2014 11:19PM - 676 Views
By - mflomer@civitasmedia.com

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ROCKINGHAM — That little red card that lets you check out books from any of Richmond County’s libraries has gone high-tech.

The library card now grants you free access to audiobooks and digital and interactive editions of nearly 100 popular magazines.

Bobbie Grooms, director of the Richmond County Library System, said the services were added to expand on the libraries’ existing offerings. She cited convenience as one positive reason for exploring them.

“There are all kinds of magazines people will enjoy, and they can be downloaded from anywhere onto your iPad or other device” Grooms said. “We have more than 90 so far, all paid for by Sandhills Regional Library System.”

The library system comprises five counties — Richmond, Anson, Hoke, Montgomery and Moore, Grooms said. The State Library of North Carolina funds the regional library system, and each county’s library contributes to the state. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.

The audiobooks are especially engaging, Grooms said.

“You wouldn’t believe the energy some of the readers put into those books, the acting,” she said. “And you can download the audiobooks and take them with you in the car, listen while you’re driving. Through oneclickdigital.com, the audiobooks are provided by the region. You have access to the top 200 titles on the New York Times bestseller list.”

But just like regular books, the audiobooks have a check-out time limit of two weeks. When asked what happens to an audiobook if it is not returned on time, Grooms grinned.

“It’ll disappear,” she said.

But there’s no need to worry about being charged a late fee.

The new services launched July 1 and are slowly catching on in Richmond County, although Grooms was unsure exactly how many people were taking advantage of them. She hopes more people will give the audiobooks and magazine downloads a try.

“All you need is a library card in good standing,” she said. “We’re always available for people who have trouble downloading titles at home, or for people to bring devices in. We teach them how to set those up. We’re going to be starting up our computer classes again around the first of September, too.”

In order to be eligible for a library card, adults should present a valid driver’s license and mail showing a physical address used to confirm their residence in any of the five counties in the library system. Children of adult card holders age 6 and up can have cards of their own.

The audiobooks from oneclickdigital and digital magazines from Zinio can be accessed by visiting www.srls.info and scrolling down toward the bottom of the front page.

For more information, visit www.srls.info or call 910-997-3388.

Reach reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-817-2673.

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