Library turns new page on formats

In addition to books, online downloads, take-home technology

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter



It’s a list with lots of slots, including “Wild” in two formats, two versions of Dan Brown’s “Inferno” and four takes on “The Hunger Games” franchise.

That leaves 24 other slots for best-selling thrillers and books about pop-culture icons and even a landmark TV series.

They add up to 32 different categories of “most popular” titles distributed by the Fort Vancouver library system in 2013.

While they include the traditional categories of users (adults, young adults, children) and genres (fiction, nonfiction), the categories also illustrate the expanded formats available to library borrowers. Large-print publications and audio books have been around for a while. So have DVDs: “Downton Abbey” led that category in 2013.

Now the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District offers online downloads from two different providers for e-readers.

And take-home technology known as Playaway has become popular now, said Meg Zaleski, the collection management coordinator for the library system

The audio version is an MP3-type device that is loaded with one recorded book.

“Unlike CDs, which can get scratches, these are almost indestructible,” Zaleski said.

And unlike CDs, which might require 10 discs to narrate a complete book, the Playaway audio device contains the entire volume.

“They do need headphones or ear buds, which aren’t included, but they’re great for walking or when you’re doing housework or gardening,” Zaleski said.

The video Playaway device measures about 4 inches by 3 inches and is an inch thick.

The Playaway videos in the Fort Vancouver collection are mostly children’s titles, Zaleski said.

Updated checkout numbers for individual titles are not available, but the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District circulated more than 3.5 million items in 2012, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available.

The system’s collection includes more than 750,000 books, magazines, videotapes, DVDs, audio-book CDs and Playaway devices.

And regardless of the format, Zaleski reminded, they’re all checked out for the same span: “Three weeks.”



Fiction: “Alex Cross, Run” by James Patterson.

Nonfiction: “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” by Eben Alexander.

Biography: “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed.

Large-print: “Inferno” by Dan Brown.

CD audio book: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

Audio Playaway: “The Storm” by Clive Cussler.

DVD: “Downton Abbey.”

Young adults

Fiction: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.

Nonfiction: “Guinness World Records, 2013 Gamer’s Edition” by Craig Glenday.

Biography: “Taylor Swift” by Andrew Vaughan.

CD audio book: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.

Audio Playaway: “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins.

DVD: “Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination.”


Fiction: “Thea Stilton and the Mystery on the Orient Express” by Thea Stilton.

Nonfiction: “Garfield, Lard of the Jungle” by Jim Davis.

Biography: “Who Was Dr. Seuss?” by Janet Pascal.

CD audio book: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel” by Jeff Kinney.

Audio Playaway: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” by Jeff Kinney.

Video Playaway: “Arthur’s Adventures.”

DVD: “VeggieTales.”



Adult fiction: “Inferno” by Dan Brown.

Adult nonfiction: “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg.

Young adult fiction: “Elite” by Kiera Cass.

Young adult nonfiction: “One Direction” by One Direction.

Children’s fiction: “Big Nate Makes the Grade” by Lincoln Peirce.

Children’s nonfiction: “Jokelopedia” by Eva Blank.


Adult fiction: “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.

Adult nonfiction: “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed.

Young adult fiction: “Divergent” by Veronica Roth.

Young adult nonfiction: “Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion” by Kate Egan.

Children’s fiction: “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio.

Children’s nonfiction: “Steve Jobs: American Genius” by Amanda Ziller.