Free e-Books at Boise Public Library! 

Here's another reason to put an exclamation point next to Library! Beginning last week, patrons can access more than 800 e-books through the Boise Public Library's website, boisepubliclibrary.org.

In what's being called a "soft launch," downloadable books are accessed through the same link that points you to audiobooks and videos. Members will be able to access e-books through the library's basic catalog or through an e-resources section.

"We'll have e-books from every section," said Chrisanne Brown, acquisitions and collection development manager. "Bestsellers, classics, children's books. Everything except reference." Brown explained that reference resources are already available in abundance on the Internet.

So here's the scoop: You can "check out" up to five e-books at a time, and you'll be asked if you want to check out the e-book for seven or 14 days. Yes, you have to be a member of the Boise Public Library and your account must be in good standing. You can apply in person or online, and membership is free to residents of Boise and Garden City. Non-resident cards are available for $69.30 a year. Students enrolled in the Boise School District (who don't live in the district) and seniors may receive a non-resident card for $17.33 per year.

The folks at the library say they'll soon make a big announcement about their new venture. But for now, the e-book system is the best kept secret in town.

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