by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
I have two important things to tell you about our ebook lending service. It’s free to use. And it’s now available for Kindle users.
We don’t charge for the privilege of using our downloadable book service. We loan our ebooks and downloadable audios in much the same way that we loan our print books and books on CD. If you have a Pioneerland library card in good standing, you check them out with your barcode for free. There’s no charge to download the software. There are not even any late fees, because the downloadable books return themselves on their due dates, unless you go into your software and return your ebooks early.
I’ve discovered that the reason people think we charge for our ebooks is because there’s another library’s website that looks like it could be ours, and that particular Litchfield Public Library charges $20 to use their ebook service. If you do a Google search of “litchfield public library”, your first result may be the library in Litchfield, Illinois. They are a Carnegie library founded in 1904, like we are. They are still in their original building, but it was remodeled around 2000, like our current building was. Their hours are nearly identical to ours. And they have the same Overdrive ebook button as we do. I can understand how multiple people have believed it was our website. The internet makes the world very small. It’s just as easy to get to the website for a library in another state as it is to get to ours.
To be sure you’re going to our ebook service, go to http://pioneerland.lib.overdrive.com/. We have bookmarks at our desk that have this URL on them; pick one up if you want a handy way to remember the address.
And if you’re looking for our local website, go to http://litchlibrary.blogspot.com/. I’ve added our address and phone number to the top of the page to make it more clear that we are the Litchfield Public Library in Minnesota, not the one in Connecticut, or Illinois, or Nebraska, or Arizona…. You get the idea.
The big ebook news for the week is that library lending for Kindles is finally here. We knew it was coming, but we didn’t know when. Amazon and Overdrive have been developing this for a few months, and now they’re slowly and quietly rolling it out to all of the libraries who use Overdrive for ebooks. It just became available to us on the 22nd. Now when you click on an ebook title, you’ll see two formats: Kindle and Adobe EPUB. If you have a Kindle or use a Kindle app, download the Kindle version. I haven’t tried it myself, but I understand that part of the process will bring you to Amazon’s site, and that you may have to login with your Amazon account. One thing that is different about borrowing a library book for your Kindle versus buying one from Amazon is that you can’t download using your 3G connection. To borrow a Kindle library book, you need to be using WiFi or have your Kindle connected to your personal computer by a cable.
Now all of you who bought Kindles, but then regretted not being able to use it for library books, can join in on the fun. I think it was a smart business move by Amazon to make this possible.
If you have suggestions about ebooks or downloadable audiobooks that you’d like to see us offer, let me know. The purchasing is done centrally at Pioneerland headquarters, but they welcome suggestions.