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E-books coming to Lawton Public Library

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LAWTON, Okla._Tech-savvy readers in Lawton will soon have another way to check out books.

The Lawton Public Library plans to use a large grant they received just Tuesday to purchase e-books. That means library card holders will be able to check books out from their tablet or smartphone without ever leaving their home.

The grant comes from a local trust organization, the Laura Fields Trust. They knew the library was struggling to buy books and other things after being cut from the city's budget. The money wasn't completely free, it was a matching grant meaning for every two dollars the library raised they would match it with one dollar.

The Friends of the Library were able to raise $20,000 by having book sales, selling drinks at events and several other fundraisers. The library received $10,000 to match their earnings bring their total to $30,000.

"We worked so hard to get the funding for the collection as it was. So to be able to ask our librarian, you know we have this ten thousand dollar grant. What is the best thing we can do with it, what's your need,” asked Patty Neuwirth, treasurer for Friends of the Library.

Library director, Kristin Herr, says choosing what to spend the money on was easy because she gets requests for e-books on a daily basis.

"We're late to the game but we're ready to give Lawton customers and Comanche county customers the opportunity to use e-books with their personal devices," said Herr.

The e-books will be available on most portable devices, such as tablets and smartphones, through a website called OK Virtual Library. Herr says not to worry about traditional books, they won't be going anywhere.

"Some people like the touch and feel of those books, but there are other customers that want the electronic versions and we want to serve both types of customers," explained Herr.

Neuwirth says reading has always been very important to her so helping the library get what the citizens of Lawton want was a priority.

"I read every night, it's just an integral part of anyone's education and enjoyment," said Neuwirth.

To access the e-books, just enter your card number and PIN on the website and then you'll be able to download a wide selection of books onto your device. The book will be yours for a few weeks and then it will expire.

The library hopes to have e-books available by early this summer. They say they will post an announcement on their website to let customers know when it will be up and running.

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