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Cape Elizabeth library to add audio-book, language databases

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Cape Elizabeth library to add audio-book, language databases

CAPE ELIZABETH — Although the physical expansion of Thomas Memorial Library was shot down by voters last year, the library collection – especially virtual material – continues to grow.

The library will be launching two new cloud-based databases that will broaden access to books and foreign languages beginning at the end of the month.

One-Click Downloads will allow library users to select from several thousand audio books and download them to use on different platforms such as e-readers, notebook computers and laptop computers.

Transparent Library, a language-learning program similar to the popular online language software Rosetta Stone, will allow users to access 80 languages online.

The library will be the first public library in Maine to have these databases, library Director Jay Scherma said.

"We often get people coming into asking about language programs," he said. "It's an expensive piece of software that needs to be loaded on a specific device in the library, so that its functionality is constricted from library standpoint.

"The functionality of Transparent Language allows you to use your own machine is a lot broader of a platform and allows for more cooperation between library and the school."

The audio-book database works in a similar fashion.

"What's novel about it is that users can have multi-use of the same title," Scherma said. "The normal model is one user, one title. So, for instance, now a book club could use it."

Both databases are subscriptions that will cost the library about $4,600. The Thomas Memorial Library Foundation gave the library a $2,000 grant for the databases.

"It's our mission to enhance the programming at the Thomas Memorial Library and we're happy to be able to accomplish that with this grant," foundation Chairman Bob Stier Jr. said. "I'm delighted to have that available and I think it's pretty self-evident that it's going to be a terrific addition."

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.