Still known to many as “Miss Kris,” Assistant Library Director Kris Houtler has a career that has evolved over the years from assistant youth services librarian, to youth services director, and finally to her current position. Presently, in addition to aiding Library Director Sue Ann Kucher in a number of leadership responsibilities, Houtler has become “the point woman” for questions regarding e-books and digital audiobooks at the library.
According to Houtler, public libraries remain relevant in a digital age for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that libraries can provide digital content free of charge, unlike commercial services such as Amazon or Audible. To access this free service, library patrons need only to find the library’s homepage at reedsburglibrary.org and click on the link to Wisconsin’s Digital Library. From there, by entering their library card number, users can search for e-books and audiobooks and download them to a personal device.
Houtler remarks that in recent months, Wisconsin’s Digital Library, also known as Overdrive, has become even easier to use thanks to the introduction of the free “Libby” app. She notes that for many, the Libby app makes “the entire process from searching for a title to downloading it to a mobile device more intuitive and easy to follow.” From a mobile device such as a tablet or a smartphone, Libby can be found via the App Store or GooglePlay.
When asked about the most common problems people have downloading the library’s free e-books, Houtler replied that a lot of problems result from patrons having an expired library card. While Wisconsin’s Digital Library is a statewide resource, access is governed by the county of residence. Individuals wishing to use Wisconsin’s Digital Library from the Reedsburg Public Library site need to be sure that they have a current South Central Library System card and live in a county served by SCLS. If a patron lives within the boundaries of another library system, they would need to get a card from their home library system and access the resources through that library’s website.
Helping library users troubleshoot the problems they are having downloading digital content has given Houtler a unique expertise in that area. Modestly, she comments that the “Help” links provided on the Wisconsin’s Digital Library website are a great resource to consult for assistance, as well as “Googling” a specific problem online. Houtler and other library staff members are happy to make an appointment to help patrons learn how to use Wisconsin’s Digital Library or to troubleshoot a device.
Incidentally, last Saturday, Aug. 18 marked Miss Kris’ 20th anniversary at the Reedsburg Public Library. Be sure to stop in to congratulate her, or ask her how to download a digital book for free.
For questions about any library service or program, call the Library at 768-READ (7323).
Source: Reedsburg Times-Press “Digital content at the library”