January 9, 2011

Library Love (3)

I noticed that when I talk about libraries with friends and family members, they often say, "I didn't know libraries offered that!" Library Love is a feature in which I share many different reasons for people to use and love their local library. Some things I mention may be obvious to those of you who routinely use your public library, but others may be new to you. Either way I hope that this feature inspires you to visit and support your local library! 

My Nook

3. Download free eBooks. 

Many libraries are now offering digital downloads of eBook titles for their patrons. Downloading an eBook is easy and convenient - you can do it from the comfort of your own home, even after the library building is closed! If your library offers eBooks, all you need to enjoy them is some free software (Adobe Digital Editions) on your computer. Some libraries also load the software on public computers as well. Of course, if you have an eReader, you can also transfer eBooks onto your personal device for reading on the go. Most eReaders are compatible with library books, but unfortunately, the Kindle is not compatible at this time. (Get with the program, Amazon!)

Checking out an eBook from your library is a lot like online shopping. You search or browse for the titles you want, place them in an online "cart" or "book bag," and then check them out. The eBook is downloaded onto your computer, where you can enjoy it immediately or transfer it to an eReading device. 

While you are browsing for eBooks, you can also create wish lists for titles you'd like to check out in the future or put titles on hold if they are currently unavailable. If you encounter any problems along the way, librarians are just a phone call away. Many libraries require librarians to undergo training in order to troubleshoot problems with downloading eBooks. Some libraries have even offered an eReader petting zoo to give patrons a chance to experiment with different devices!

One huge benefit of downloading library eBooks is that there are no late fees because your check out period automatically expires! Often you can set your own check out period too by choosing from options offered by your library. 

If your library does not yet offer eBooks, you may be able to obtain them from another library for a small cost. for example, the Free Library of Philadelphia offers library cards to out-of-state residents for only $15 a year. That's less than the cost of one new hardcover novel for an entire year's worth of eBooks!  

Does your library offer eBooks? Do you own an eReader? 


Jana said...

YES! Ours does! And when people ask me whether to buy a Kindle or a Nook I have to say Nook because it doesn't support Kindles (yet, I am sure it is coming). I haven't tried it yet since I have (quite) a few others I am reading but I am going to check out The Help soon!

Fourth Musketeer said...

Here in the LA area some libraries do and some don't, but the LA County system does. I'm hoping to get an e-reader within the next few months and join the 21st century, but still trying to decide which one. I'm leaning toward the Barnes & Noble color one...

And great series by the way!

Suzanne said...

Love my library! AND I love the Free Library of Philadelphia's Library Card! Even though my library does offer ebook checkouts, the company that they contract with doesn't really offer current selections. That's why when I found out about the ability to purchase a Philadelphia Library Card I jumped at the chance. It's simply wonderful! And my ereader has gotten a great workout since getting my card!

Tara (The Bodacious Pen) said...

My local library system is wonderful in every way except e-books, so I sent away for a library card from the Free Library. I'm hoping it'll arrive this week! :)

My name is Patricia said...

I love how libraries are changing and "updating" with the times. EBooks are all the rage right now - you really can't get away from it and neither can libraries. I think the libraries don't do this, or won't do this, are doing a diservice to themselves and their patrons - even though I personally don't really read ebooks. I can't wait to see what public libraries come up with next in regards to the Technological world :)

<3 Patricia @ Patricia's Particularity

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