Checking out Total Boox


When the Wyoming wind howls and temperatures dip below zero, library patrons will have a new treatment for cabin fever this winter. In October, the Wyoming State library signed up for the Total Boox e-book service, adding 50,000 titles to the library’s already substantial electronic arsenal.

One of the big benefits of Total Boox is that there is no time limit attached to titles that are “checked out.” There are “no holds, no expirations, no limitations and no fines,” a press release from the State Library reads. A user can download any number of titles free of charge, hold onto them for as long as they want, “and they never disappear from your device,” the release continues.

According to Desiree Saunders, program manager of the Wyoming Library Database (WYLD), patrons in the Equality State have enjoyed access to ebooks since 2012. Total Boox joins OneClick Digital Audiobooks (specializing in recorded titles), Zinio Digital Magazines (which provides online versions of over 180 publications) and Cloud Library (featuring best-sellers and popular selections) in the State Library’s online collection.

Like the aforementioned services, Total Boox has carved out its own particular niche in the ebook world. Cloud Library is the place to look “if you want the latest John Grisham book,” Saunders advised. Total Boox, on the other hand, is strong in genre fiction like mysteries and romance, self-help books and travel books like the popular Lonely Planet and Berlitz series of guides.

Previously, Wyoming libraries had used a service called Freading, which hosted many of the same titles as Total Boox. Saunders said Freading had lagged in updating its technology and provided spotty support, though, making the switch to Total Boox appealing.

“It’s very simple, it’s all self-contained,” and the service only works on mobile devices, simplifying the process for users, Saunders said. According to Saunders, the system is so easy librarians have needed no training to help patrons use it.

Another strength, in Saunder’s view, is Total Boox “unique licensing system.” Total Boox charges the State Library based on pages actually read, versus total downloads, so patrons can download multiple titles, but the state will only have to pay for what library users ultimately read.

All book-lovers need to access the new titles is a valid Wyoming library card, a supported mobile device (most Android, Apple and Amazon devices) and the PIN associated with the library card.

“The main question we get is what is the PIN number,” Saunders said with a chuckle. Try to remember yours and check out the newest WYLD addition next time the Interstate is closed and winter presses in.


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