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Old 07-05-2007, 08:39 AM   #1
Detour
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Public Library e-book downloads: Do you use yours?

I see so many people asking where to get free e-books all over the place and so rarely are they pointed toward their own public library website. Usually people suggest everything from Project Gutenberg to multiple file sharing networks. I see these various question/answer things everywhere from Yahoo Answers to here.

I can get free e-books (mobipocket and adobe), even current bestsellers, completely legal and free from my local library website. Does anyone else here use that resource? Do you tell others to use theirs? Maybe this has been discussed here and I missed it but I've been lurking for a bit and haven't seen it.

Maybe I've just been spending too much time lurking in the books section on Yahoo Answers and I'm sick of seeing people be told it's illegal to have free e-books that aren't from Project Gutenberg.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:05 AM   #2
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Excellent point, Detour, thanks for bringing it up!

It has been discussed previously, but ... it's been quite a while, and should be brought up because even those of us who were here, may not remember the discussion.

The only drawback I see to the public library e-books thing (I don't believe my local one offers them, but I haven't checked in a while), is that they tend to be in only one or two formats. That's fine, of course, if you are set up for those formats, but not so fine if you're not.

That's a very common issue, in e-books, of course. Once we get a 'standard' format, I imagine the libraries will move to that, which will resolve it. I'm crossing my fingers that D.E. will fill the bill (looks good for that) and that it will quickly become widely adopted.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:52 AM   #3
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Yeah the formatting thing bites. I wish they were formatted for my Reader. Also I should have said public library not local library because I live in Oklahoma but use the NYC public library website. My local library only has audiobooks for free so far. It's certainly a drawback if your local library doesn't have them, but that doesn't mean you can't get them from another.

Here's a link to see if your local library has access to OverDrive's resources:
http://search.overdrive.com/
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:09 AM   #4
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Well, the Houston public library is my local one (until we move at the end of the month, anyway), which you'd think would have all the bells and whistles, seeing as it's the 4th largest city in the country and all, but libraries were ... not the top priority of the previous mayoral administration (investigations are on-going, I believe).

It looks like they have some audio books, perhaps, but the County libraries seem to be more on top of things.
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:56 PM   #5
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I would like to recommend The Ohio E-Book Project (to those who can access it through their local libraries); since Mobipocket for the Iliad came along, I've started checking out at least one book a week, currently plowing through most of Kurt Vonnegut's books again... Only drawback: Two weeks checkout time seems a bit short...

What I don't understand: How can a digital library have waiting lists for certain titles?
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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I think I heard that Ohio is supposed to have some of the most well-funded libraries in the country, and they do a lot with e-books.

In the PA area, there is a nice selection of audiobooks that work with Pocket Tunes Deluxe and Pocket PC devices. E-books were tougher when I looked before - a few years back I think they had MobiPocket, and then it changed to PDFs that I think you had to read online, or at least on a PC. So for me, library e-books were not realistic. Who knows, maybe the format options have changed again by now.

As far as audiobooks, I think you can renew them if you want to keep them more than the original checkout. Probably 3 weeks the first checkout, and 2 for renewals. The library only has rights to a certain number of checkouts per title (or maybe per set of titles), so that's why they have to track what books are "out".
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:29 PM   #7
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Our local library has audio books in MP3 format for checkout, and even some loaner MP3 players, but no ebooks yet. They hadn't heard of them when I checked in a couple of months ago. I'm kind of in the middle of a bunch of other projects right now, but maybe this fall I'll start a campaign to add ebooks to our library. Meanwhile, at $100/year, the New York Public Library looks like a pretty good option.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:43 AM   #8
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I confess, I use it mostly for the audiobooks. I listen to them almost constantly while I'm working, and that is usually 10 hours a day 6 days a week, so I go through a lot of audiobooks. Being able to get them from the library saves me a small fortune, which in turn makes my other half very happy as well.

I've heard great things about Ohio's library system over the years. Unfortunately I don't have any family there like I do in NY so I don't know if I can get a card. I'm going to check into that. They probably have a program like NY where you can pay for an out of area card? I'll certainly check that tomorrow when I get time.

NatCh, I spent some of my growing up years in Houston - the libraries we're terrible back then, too. Sorry to hear that hasn't changed.

Has anyone tried getting OverDrive's audiobooks to work on the Sony Reader? I keep meaning to check that but have put it off over worries about battery life. Besides, I like my mp3 players to fit in my jeans pockets.

One thing I love about digital library books is that I don't have to worry about returning them. They expire and 'return' themsleves. I'm terrible about returning books, I get attached to them and want to take care of them forever.

Last edited by Detour; 07-06-2007 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detour View Post
I see so many people asking where to get free e-books all over the place and so rarely are they pointed toward their own public library website.
The last time that I looked at these offerings:
1. They required that I use a buggy, overpriced, insecure operating system to download the eBook.
2. They required that I waste my money on a WinCE device to read the eBook.
3. Selection of books that they had was very, very poor.

Simply put, it wasn't worth the money and effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Detour View Post
I can get free e-books (mobipocket and adobe), even current bestsellers, completely legal and free from my local library website.
But the bad thing is that you can get the same eBooks (and more) from illegal sources easier. As long as it's easier and less painful to get eBooks illegally, the legal sources won't take off.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:46 AM   #10
NatCh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detour View Post
NatCh, I spent some of my growing up years in Houston - the libraries we're terrible back then, too. Sorry to hear that hasn't changed.
Oh, it's changed, all right, Detour, it used to be better growing up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
But the bad thing is that you can get the same eBooks (and more) from illegal sources easier. As long as it's easier and less painful to get eBooks illegally, the legal sources won't take off.
I think we disagree in degree on this point, rlauzon. What I mean is that legal e-books do seem to be scraping themselves up off the pavement, but it's certainly not an impressive or meteoric rise or anything. They're "taking off" -- it's just that they're moving more like the tortoise than the hare (hopefully the tortoise will eventually win this one).

I do agree that the difficulties accessing legal e-books (particularly compared to the other variety) is a significant obstacle to their progress.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:48 AM   #11
srichantamit
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Want some Advice for make Rent favorite e-book website?

Dear sir.
I live in Thailand and read forum about England libraries use loan e-book that can self-delete. So I interest about this Program for make in thailand but don't has knowledge. I want some advice.

1. If i want to use this program that can self-delete in 14 days. Where download program?
2. About specification of this program. ( security )?
3. What type of this program PDF or other?
4. What program that mobile or PDA can use?

best regards.
srichantamit@gmail.com
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by srichantamit View Post
Dear sir.
I live in Thailand and read forum about England libraries use loan e-book that can self-delete. So I interest about this Program for make in thailand but don't has knowledge. I want some advice.

1. If i want to use this program that can self-delete in 14 days. Where download program?
2. About specification of this program. ( security )?
3. What type of this program PDF or other?
4. What program that mobile or PDA can use?

best regards.
srichantamit@gmail.com
Most libraries use Overdrive in conjunction with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to lend out ebooks. This isn't software that you can set up to lend out your own ebooks. It is used by libraries to lend out a limited number of ebooks to members with cards to their local or regional libraries.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:42 AM   #13
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The Clark County Library system has embraced the ebook in a big way for those of us who live in Las Vegas. They have ebooks in Adobe Epub and Mobi formats as well as audiobooks. Last time I checked they over 5,000 ebooks. My wish list is up to about 100 titles.

I use the system so much I decided to sell my Kindle DX since it sits unused on my coffee table. I read with either my Touch Edition or my Netbook in Portrait mode.

I have even suggested to the staff a "Buy a Book for the Library" campaign. If the library lacked a title a patron wanted, the patron would be linked to a sales site to buy the book for the library and then get the first opportunity to read the book. Once done, the book goes into general circulation for other patrons. I like this model much better than that of Amazon. I don't re-read books. I would rather pay and let someone else use the book after I am finished. To buy a book and then let it sit on my reader for years seems to me a lost opportunity to share.

The loan period for our library is 21 days which is just fine for me.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:39 AM   #14
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Here in the UK I think there are only 2 libraries which support ebook loans. I belong to the Essex County Council one (don't think I'm allowed to post a link am I?) and I love it.

It has lots of audiobooks which I like to download and listen to on my ipod while I'm doing the chore of ironing! Currently listening to Eragon which I'm loving. And a limited selection of fiction plus other books to download.

Not overly keen on the Adobe software I needed to install to use the overdrive service but that's no big deal.

I think it's a fantastic service and hope it becomes more popular as that will mean an increase in money being invested in th scheme.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:45 AM   #15
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I live where there is no local access to the overdrive system (tiny little town). I can, however, drive to San Antonio (almost 4 hours away) and pay $100 for a library card and borrow through them, but a) I don't go that way very often, and b) being in college and holding a full time job and two high school kids and a husband who coaches doesn't leave me much time for reading right now. It just wouldn't be worth the $100 to get a library card.
Heck, I have two pbooks and several ebooks on my computer I haven't read yet, so who has time to borrow books, too?

I do like the idea of being able to do it, however. I hope I get a chance in the future to actually use the service.
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