More People Turn to Internet for Reading

February 23, 2011 Updated Feb 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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February 23, 2011 Updated Feb 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- An actual book in your hands while reading will always have its place, but new customer numbers at many libraries show there's a new trend brewing. "Over the last couple weeks I've had droves of people coming in with their e-readers seeking help in how to go about getting that," Dawn Peters, the director of the Orchard Park Public Library, said.

The latest computer notepad readers that download books and other reading material from many sources including libraries, are becoming more and more popular with new versions out constantly.

So, is this drive toward the internet a negative for libraries? According to executives in the Erie County Public Library System, not at all. "It's simply another medium for us to provide more materials," Mary Jean Jakubowski, with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, said. "We can provide more material to more people electronically."

"It's an added service, it's by no means a threat to the services that we provide," Peters said.

The number of customers using the county libraries via internet tripled from last year. And in general there has been a steady increase in foot traffic inside the libraries. "The demand is there and the demand is increasing," Jakubowski said. "This just goes to show people are using our system in increasingly different ways."

For a library, the cost to have a book online is half the amount of having it in house. In turn, the increasing number of people checking books out online is helpful, especially since the Erie County Public Library System is sustaining large budget cuts.