eBooks and eAudiobooks: What the Vendors Didn’t Tell Us

By Colleen B. Eggett

What should librarians teach their customers about the eBooks and eAudiobooks iphonethat they provide through various vendors such as OverDrive, OneClick Digital, 3M Cloud Library, Axis 360, and others?

I recommend that you teach

  • That you have the eBooks
  • The details of your library’s program:
    • How many items can be checked out at a time
    • How many holds can one have / no holds needed
    • How long is the checkout period
    • How they get in from your library. Does it take a library card #? An access code?
  • What’s included:
    • Genres/ types of books (Romance, Mystery, Biographies, Nonfiction, Children’s books, YA)
    • Software that’s needed (EX: Media Manager, Adobe Digital Editions)
  • Demonstrate how it works
    • Start at your own website
    • Download the media manager
    • Browse
    • Check out
    • Download
  • What help is available
  • Tips for success
  • Common Questions

The audience may be different for reading eBooks and listening to eAudiobooks


  • E-book readers may be younger readers, who need to physically read with their eyes for school
  • Also tech savvy people with an iPhone, Nook, Kindle, or iPad


  • Audiobook readers may be older and don’t want to use their eyes—the print is becoming small
  • They may be on the road a lot for work or play, or they live in rural areas and it’s all spread out

What you need to know:

  • If one person is logged into a computer then logs out, then another person logs in immediately after, they may get an error message: “unable to log into this account.” If so, use a different browser (EX: Firefox rather than IE, or Safari, etc.)
  • Make sure the last person’s browser isn’t still open on the computer
  • Turn the device off then on
  • Clear the cookies
  • Find answers to problems by looking on the vendors’ websites, emailing the support desk, Googling the question

What your public needs to know:

  • Don’t plug in your portable device to your computer until you’re ready to transfer. If it’s plugged in while you’re downloading you’ll get tripped up
  • Make sure your portable device is adequately charged to transfer. If you’re out of battery you’ll be unsuccessful
  • If something doesn’t download, your computer freezes, you run out of battery, you lose internet connection, or whatever, delete the part that got stuck and download that part again. Then download all the rest

How can we be successful in offering downloadable books?

  • Shift more of our budgets to buy more digital content. Library Journal reported in 2014 that eBook integration into the library world is just about complete, with nine in ten libraries now loaning eBooks.
  • James LaRue, former Director of the Douglas County Library in Colorado, said that in the next year, 20% of public libraries’ budgets will go to eBooks and audiobooks, and by 5 years from now, it will be 50%. From which budget will we shift funds? Reference and nonfiction are possibilities
  • Promote your eBooks and audiobooks
    • Talk, talk, talk
    • Make sure your staff knows about them
    • Get the word out on your website
    • Get the word out in your building. Put up:
      • A sign in your audiobook area
      • A banner outside your library
      • Signs / flyers at the your checkout area
      • Put it on your website
      • Marc records for the titles in your library catalog
    • Be proactive. If you’ not happy with your eBook or audiobook service, talk to the vendor. Your voice is important as the eBook industry evolves
    • Try something new and let people know how it worked: sharing knowledge is a library value

Digital Book Index: pure delight

Today I practically stumbled upon something so massive it’s amazing I didn’t bump into it digital book indexearlier. The Digital Book Index is a meta-indexing project that provides links to over 165,000 full-text digital books, the vast majority of them free, though some come with a fee.

Some of their key topics are:

Arts:   Art & graphic arts, architecture, dance, decorative arts, costume, theatre & drama, music, photography, film & video
Children’s Books:   Contemporary & classic children’s books and stories
History:   American, English, Irish, European, Asian, African, local and regional histories
Law:   US Constitutional history, state constitutions, treaties, state statues & laws, legal ethics rules, copyright, and consumer information.
Literature:   Ranging from Chaucer & other medieval texts to modern, contemporary fiction
Math & Sciences:   Mathematics, astronomy, biology, botany & zoology, genetics, chemistry, physics, engineering, electronics, & computer science
Medicine & Health:   For professionals and patients including anatomy, radiology, infectious diseases, surgery, oncology, dentistry, and more
Continue reading Digital Book Index: pure delight

Kindle and OverDrive

People have been asking for instructions on using a kindle to check out eBooks from their public library through OverDrive, courtesy of Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library.  Well, here you go.


  1. Visit your Utah public library’s website and click on the link to Overdrive. Or, go to http://pioneer.utah.gov and click on OverDrive.
  2. Check out a Kindle book (library card required).
  3. Click on “Get for Kindle.” You will then be directed to Amazon.com to redeem your public library loan. You may be required to login to your Amazon.com account — or create a new account — if you’re not already logged in.
  4. Choose to read the book on your Kindle device, free reading app, or Kindle Cloud Reader.

Continue reading Kindle and OverDrive

Cloud eBook Reading

[Here’s my response to my 12/29/10 OverDrive post]

We’ve all heard of cloud computing (googledocs), cloud social networking (facebook), and here comes the next big thing: cloud eBook reading. That’s where your eBook is held in the cloud and you can bookmark your place and come back to it no matter which handheld or computer you’re using.

The big advantage is that you don’t have to download an app or a piece of software or have a dedicated e-reading device.

Joseph Pearson of Inventive Lab wrote, “The one single platform we expect future e-reading devices to have in common is the web browser. If you want to give your readership the freedom to own (forever) the books they buy from you, the web is where it will happen.”

Continue reading Cloud eBook Reading

OverDrive and the rest of the modern world as we know it

Here I am. Using OverDrive with my new iPod which I got fairly recently. There are other sources of ebook and audiobooks as well such as NetLibrary (free from your public library in Utah), Google Books (older classics free, $ for newer titles), Kobo (free, $),  Audible ($) , iTunes (some free, most $), Project Gutenberg (free, mostly ebooks), the list goes on. Right now I’m transferring War and Peace to my iPod hoping for the latter not the former.

There’s gotta be some way to get organized. I’m seeking nirvana: combining an iPad with a knockout interface where everything comes at me in one place, put into categories like shelves in a bookcase.

Something to dream of, plan for, investigate.