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Meeting the digital demand page 4
Central Rappahannock Regional Library is trying to keep up with digital demand.

 England Run's branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library has space for people to meet, use computers and read in comfy chairs.
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Date published: 7/15/2011


Parr said that libraries today are places where people come to spend time, and that shouldn't change with the rise of e-books.

What could change is the number of physical books in the library's collection, along with the time and manpower spent moving them around.

But what about the mere existence of libraries? Most people consume e-books by buying them from online vendors, and digital readers aren't known as platforms for borrowing books. What will happen when people easily can buy any book they want at any time?

Again, library officials prefer to equate e-books with regular books. Glover said that book publishers have been willing to work with libraries over the years because it is good business. Libraries promote literacy generally and even promote specific books or authors. That can increase general interest in books and boost sales.

Glover has no reason to believe that publishers won't treat e-books the same way. And while libraries may lend books for free, the publishers still collect a fee when libraries make e-books available to the public.

There is "still a symbiotic relationship" between libraries and publishers, he said.

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com

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Top 10 e-book downloads from Central Rappahannock Regional Library since 2009 (number of downloads in parentheses)

10--"Patton: As Military Commander" by Hubert Essame (63)

9--"Smitten" by Janet Evanovich (65)

8--"Good Poor Man's Wife" by Claudia Bushman (67)

7--"Naughty Neighbor" by Janet Evanovich (71)

6--"The Harlem Renaissance: An Annotated Reference Guide for Student Research" by Marie Rodgers (78)

5--"Judas at the Jockey Club and Other Episodes of Porfirian Mexico" by William Beezley (87)

4--"How to Prepare for the Armed Forces Test--ASVAB" (109)

3--"Fugitive: A Novel" by Phillip Margolin (113)

2--"Nova's GRE Prep Course" by Jeff Kolby and Scott Thornburg (122)

1--"Manifest Destiny's Underworld: Filibustering in Antebellum America" by Robert May (186)

A recent Associated Press report suggests localities across the country have responded to the recession by making drastic cuts to library budgets. Some have closed libraries altogether.

Not so in the Fredericksburg area, which has supported Central Rappahannock Regional Library through the tough economy. In fact, Stafford County built the England Run branch under budget while the economy was taking a beating.

Here are the last three annual budgets for CRRL. Some funding comes from the state, but most comes from the participating localities of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland counties.