It's not your father's bookmobile.
Inside the 74-foot, high-tech trailer, Garner Middle School students got a thumbs-on lesson in how to download a school library book.
The Digital Bookmobile, powered by Overdrive.com, travels the country promoting library digital library services like that of Northeast Independent School District's.
"This is part of the way book are going," said Overdrive's Daniel Conochan. "Print books are still going to be around, but this makes it a lot more easy for people to enjoy reading."
To check out an ebook or audiobook, students can visit the library's virtual branch at www.neisd.lib.overdrive.com.
After browsing or searching titles, they can check out the book by using a valid school ID. Books can be directly downloaded or transferred to various devices including computers, the iPad, iPhone, Android, NOOK, Sony Reader, Kindle andn Blackberry. The downloads are free.
Student reviews were unanimous.
"I think it's pretty cool," said 6th-grader Alexandra Ratcliff. "You don't have to buy books, you can just look online."
"Yeah, it's good," said another 6th-grader Justice Lashley, who added one benefit to electronic reading is "no paper cuts."
While the bricks and mortar library offers a limited number of books on the shelves, an electronic library can offer more titles more quickly.
"The kids are very used to electronic devices, and if they can download something on their phone, they are more likely to read it," said Garner Librarian Janie Flores.
Principal David Crowe said he was excited that the district is connecting current student interests with traditional teaching.
"They are far more comfortable with these advances than some of us are," Crowe said. "It's really our job as educators to catch up with the trends and keep them pursuing what they need to do to be successful in their future."
The downloads are available 24/7 and because there is no book to return, there are no late fees.
The Digital Bookmobile is scheduled to visit Reagan High School Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
overdrive.com also promotes the digital downloading services at San Antonio Public Libraries.