This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, June 6, 2001

June 6, 2001 - OnLine Book Club

This week's column is written by Moira Ash, Web Manager for the library.

The Douglas Public Library District has launched a new service on our Web site that some of you may have heard of. It's called the OnLine Book Club.

Click on the OnLine Book Club icon on the opening page of our Web site, www.dpld.org and you will be offered the opportunity to sign on with any one of six book clubs. Or you can go there by entering this URL: http://www.chapteraday.com/library/dpld

Once you choose a genre, submit an e-mail address (which will be kept confidential). You'll receive daily emailed segments from the selected book for a week. The daily segment is about a five minute read. These selections are consecutive so that by the end of the first week you will have read about the first two or three chapters of the book. At that point you can check the book out from a DPLD branch library, put it on hold, or really commit and buy the book. We supply the links to do any of the above.

The OnLine Book Club (www.chapteraday.com) was started by Florida businesswoman Suzanne Beecher to entice nonreaders to read and to encourage the use of libraries. Beecher used to type up short segments of books and e-mail her co-workers. The response was gratifying. Beecher, an energetic promoter, decided to sell the idea to libraries.

Over 3,000 library systems across the country have signed on, including 6 of our neighboring library systems here along the Front Range. For DPLD it's a win-win situation. We've paid a small fee to sign on, Ms Beecher is left to negotiate with the publishers and set up the mechanisms. The books are selected by librarians, and better yet, the selections are not the current bestsellers. We have no trouble circulating those, and we don't want to entice a patron to read the first three chapters only to find that there are 250 holds on the book.

Most of these selections are what we call second generation bestsellers. They've been around a bit and have proven to be good reads. We like the idea of keeping these books alive just a little bit longer, stretching the taxpayer's dollar, and if this service entices you to our Web site www.dpld.org, so much the better. We hope you'll click around and see what else we have to offer. You'll notice that at the end of the 5-minute read, we'll add our own two bits about upcoming library events and programs.

The OnLine Book Club assures us that our patron's e-mail addresses will be protected, and will not be sold to any list. You can subscribe and unsubscribe from the service at any time from our Web page. The OnLine Book Club will deliver your e-mail anywhere in the world or you can temporarily leave the club and then re-subscribe when you return. There are instructions for unsubscribing at the end of every 5-minute read.

We're offering the full gamut of the OnLine Book Club:

* The Original Book Club (this weeks selection is Potshot, by Robert Parker.)
* The Audio OnLine Book Club (this week hear Galileo's Daughter, by Dava Sobel)
* Business Books (Make It Happen before Lunch, by Stephan Schiffman)
* Teen Book Club (Insatiable, by Eve Eliot)
* Good News (The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant)
* And the newly added Fiction Book Club (The Lecturer's Tale, by James Hynes)

The Teen Book Club intrigues me. The summer stretches ahead and I like the idea of sniffing out books for my teens with little or no effort on my part. This service (http://www.chapteraday.com/library/dpld) is like browsing in the library or bookstore without ever having to leave the house or change out of your pajamas. AND I can't resist saying that we're offering you the chance to judge a book by more than its cover.

Moira Ash is the Web Manager for the Douglas Public Library District, and invites your comments at web@mail.douglas.lib.co.us.

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