Caution! Get All the Facts Before You Get Your eReader!

Books Electronics Family GeekMom Household Gadgets Technology TV and Movies
Photo: Amazon

As the holiday season approaches, and you make the list of all the new tech gadgets you’d like to find under the tree, let me offer one suggestion. Do the research on that iPad, play around with the Sony Reader and that amazing new Kindle, but then do one more thing: Go to the website for your local library and do a different kind of research.

I work at a fairly large library, that is connected to 29 other libraries in our area. That means we share books, videos and music. We also share audio books and ebooks. The selection is amazing. On our library website alone, patrons have access to thousands of ebooks and audio books, free of charge. It’s easier and quicker than driving to a brick and mortar building to check out the hard copy.

But there’s one catch. You can only use this amazing variety of resources if you’re using certain devices.

The audio books seem to be the most versatile in our collection. From iPods to PC laptops,  compatibility is rarely an issue. The main snag appears in the category of ebooks.

In our large library system you can check out (down load) hundreds of current titles, but only if you own an ereader besides an iPad or a Kindle. If you have a Nook, Kobo, Pandigital Novel, or just about any kind of Sony Reader, you’ll have no problem accessing our huge ebook collection.  Anything Apple, and you’re out of luck.

It pains our Information Technology  person. She’d love to have everything available to everybody. But that’s not possible for now. So in the meantime she warns our patrons to choose wisely when purchasing new devices. She refuses to endorse a certain product but wants our patrons to know there’s one more thing to consider when making out your wish list.

If you plan to use the resources your local library has to offer, make sure your dream device is compatible.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekMom and GeekDad on Patreon!

10 thoughts on “Caution! Get All the Facts Before You Get Your eReader!

  1. I had JUST realized this last week, when I was downloading an ebook from our library website. I’d been eyeing a Sony Reader and it was one of the ones compatible with the downloads, so all was good, but I definitely think some people will be cheating themselves out of some terrific free resources if they choose the wrong eReader!!

  2. I had JUST realized this last week, when I was downloading an ebook from our library website. I’d been eyeing a Sony Reader and it was one of the ones compatible with the downloads, so all was good, but I definitely think some people will be cheating themselves out of some terrific free resources if they choose the wrong eReader!!

  3. I’m glad you addressed this! I’ve been telling everyone about this whenever the eReader discussion comes up. I love the look of the Kindle, but if I couldn’t use my library, I probably wouldn’t use a Kindle all that much. And I LOVE that libraries are getting into downloadable audiobooks and ebooks now!

  4. I’m glad you addressed this! I’ve been telling everyone about this whenever the eReader discussion comes up. I love the look of the Kindle, but if I couldn’t use my library, I probably wouldn’t use a Kindle all that much. And I LOVE that libraries are getting into downloadable audiobooks and ebooks now!

  5. I have a Sony ereader and I have no trouble reading the ebooks from my library. I can read anything in epub format which most libraries use. I also love reading my pdf’s on my ereader and listening to music on it while I read. I have had it for a year and I have no regrets in choosing Sony.

  6. I have a Sony ereader and I have no trouble reading the ebooks from my library. I can read anything in epub format which most libraries use. I also love reading my pdf’s on my ereader and listening to music on it while I read. I have had it for a year and I have no regrets in choosing Sony.

  7. Hmm. Most libraries that allow checkout/download of digital media use DRM-protected Adobe EPUB and PDF ebooks. While these formats are incompatible with Kindle and iPad’s *native* software, iPad and iPhone users can usually use the Stanza app (and Calibre on their laptop or desktop) to access these types of files. Both of these apps are totally free.

    I use this setup on my iPhone to read digital media from my local library (after being told that iPad and iPhone were incompatible). Just thought I’d toss the info out there, in case it could work with your library’s digital media system as well.

  8. Hmm. Most libraries that allow checkout/download of digital media use DRM-protected Adobe EPUB and PDF ebooks. While these formats are incompatible with Kindle and iPad’s *native* software, iPad and iPhone users can usually use the Stanza app (and Calibre on their laptop or desktop) to access these types of files. Both of these apps are totally free.

    I use this setup on my iPhone to read digital media from my local library (after being told that iPad and iPhone were incompatible). Just thought I’d toss the info out there, in case it could work with your library’s digital media system as well.

  9. Yeah, I think the best thing for people to do is check with their own library. There is a great variety of what libraries are using these days so if you check with your own, that would be your safest bet.

    Dont forget to ask to talk to the IT person at your library. He/she would love to help you understand what is compatible with their set ups. Just go into the purchase as an educated consumer.

  10. Yeah, I think the best thing for people to do is check with their own library. There is a great variety of what libraries are using these days so if you check with your own, that would be your safest bet.

    Dont forget to ask to talk to the IT person at your library. He/she would love to help you understand what is compatible with their set ups. Just go into the purchase as an educated consumer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *