Library patrons don't have to leave their homes to check out some books from the library.
The Lake County Public Library recently started offering eBooks that can be downloaded to computers, the handheld Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony Reader. Amazon's Kindle eReader and iPad are not yet compatible with the library's eBook service.
The library has offered downloadable audio books for more than a year, and it has been working during the past few weeks to start the eBook service, said Mary Grogan, head of the Lake County Public Library's reference services.
Grogan said many patrons have inquired about eBooks for months, and some wanted them offered sooner.
"We hate to disappoint anybody," Grogan said.
The eBooks can be downloaded through the Lake County Public Library's website, www.lcplin.org. Patrons need their library card number and PIN to download the eBooks, Grogan said.
She said Adobe Digital Editions software must be installed on computers prior to downloading the books, and a link to the free software is available on the library's website.
The library currently has a collection of about 170 eBooks available, including "Great Expectations," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "A Tale of Two Cities."
"We'll be adding to the collection constantly," Grogan said.
Patrons can check out five items at a time, but the limit could increase as the library's collection of eBooks grows.
Grogan encouraged patrons to suggest titles the library could add to its collection, which can be done on the library's website.
The eBooks are available on a 14-day loan, but patrons don't need to worry about late fees because the eBooks simply expire after the 14-day period, Grogan said.
If patrons haven't finished reading an eBook after the loan ends, they can check the item out again as long as no other patrons have reserved the title, Grogan said.