Thinking about buying a tablet device or an e-reader? Before you plunk down a couple hundred dollars, you might want to head over to the North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave.

In the main hallway just inside the front entrance of the library, there’s now a table displaying an Apple iPad along with Sony, Nook, Kobo and Kindle e-readers. The North Riverside Public Library Foundation donated the iPad, according to library Director Robert Lifka, and was involved in the donation of the e-readers.

The foundation also paid for other aspects of the display, including the table, which was built by local Boy Scout Ken Sprague for his Eagle Scout project.

While you can’t take the devices from the table (they’re attached by a security device), patrons can experiment with each one and get additional information from library staff. The staff members are also available to help those who have already purchased devices but aren’t quite sure how they work.

“We’re seeing an increased interest in it,” said Lifka of the library’s display. “We’re offering one-on-one instruction if someone requests it.”

One thing patrons will likely want to learn is how to download e-books through Media on Demand, a cooperative service to which the library belongs. Downloading books through the service is free to anyone with a valid library card, and the titles — which include books, audiobooks, music and videos — can be downloaded at the library during regular hours or 24 hours a day from home. Visit the library’s website at for more information.