Libraries, like so much else in the age of the Internet, have had to reach out in ways they never imagined even 20 years ago. Meadville Public Library has been exceptionally good at finding creative ways to further its mission and engage the Meadville area community.

First, we have a new way for you to give to the library just by making a purchase through Amazon. The company launched a new initiative, Amazon Smile, which will donate a percentage of your purchase to MPL. Register your account with smile.Amazon.com, choose MPL as your selected charity and 0.5 per cent of eligible purchases will go to MPL. Please consider registering and using the Amazon Smile program – funds will be used for our materials budget. There is no fee to register and I can’t think of a better bargain.
Second, we have started circulating Sony Readers. Visit the library’s Fiction Desk and check out an e-reader for two weeks. These devices are handy to take on vacation or try one before you buy one. Sony Readers are easy to use with our Overdrive program and we also offer classes periodically on how to use the devices.Third, MPL is making a significant investment in our e-books program and adding more e-books to the library’s collection every month. The CCFLS Overdrive website has also been enhanced to make searching and downloading materials a much easier process. If you found it too complicated in the past, try again – I think you will be impressed.

Considering the high prices publishers charge libraries for e-books (we have to pay, on average, four times the price an individual pays) MPL is expanding its free e-book program (these are e-books you can keep). Right now, if you search for free e-books through our online catalog, you will gain access to more than 20,000 titles available from Project Gutenberg. We have enhanced the catalog so you can now download items much more easily. In the future, we plan to expand the free ebooks to include more than 50,000 titles, some of which will be new, nonfiction titles.

As you can see, MPL is not resting on past accomplishments but embracing current technology trends to enhance our services. Our way of proving that MPL is keeping up with the times!

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