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Old 01-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #1
crumjd
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Buying a digital library membership

Hello all,

So first let me apologize if this is the wrong forum / a FAQ / in some other way a verboten topic. I tried to avoid those eventualities but... ya know... n00bs. We can't be helped.

The actual question: I don't live in a library district that loans ebooks. However, my sister, a librarian, hooked me up with a membership to Kentucky libraries unbound and I'm loving it. Unfortunately, they don't have a very wide selection and they don't have many copies of their ebooks. Do any of you know where I can buy a library membership that has a good selection of digital books and lots of copies?

I'm looking for a good trade off between price and selection. If I can get 3 or 4 good, non public domain books in a year for a 10 dollar membership I'd buy it. If I can replace all my book purchases in a given year I'd probably save money even if I spent into the hundreds.

Anyway, hopefully one of you knows a good digital library system.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:18 PM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead, crumjd.

Here is a link to our Wiki on ebook lending libraries....as far as I know, however, libraries require you to live within their districts in order to lend books.

New York Public Library used to offer yearly memberships to non residents for $100 year, but has since discontinued that practice.

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/EBook_Lending_Libraries
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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Library membership

Yes, this is familiar to me. I live in Delaware and unfortunately they do not have a e-library but I was able to get a library card in neighboring Maryland for $15.00 per year fee.

It isn't an extensive library but much better that the non-existent Delaware e-library. I have downloaded a number of books from the MD library and it is wonderful. It helps to balance out all of the books I purchase for my Kindle.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:35 PM   #4
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For those who live in Washington, DC or surrounding communities.

DC offers free library membership to DC residents and those in neighboring communities. They have a pretty good selection of ebooks.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:16 PM   #5
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If you google "non-resident library card" you'll get plenty of hits for library systems that offer them. Some require you to pick up the card in person and not all have ebooks available, and they also vary widely in price, so it will take some research to see which (if any) will work for you, but at least it's a starting point!
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:36 PM   #6
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If you go to Overdrive, they have a feature where you can search for libraries with digital collections. Search for the ones in your area and find out if you can get a non-resident card or if they offer reciprocal borrowing (an agreement that allows you to use other libraries). Non-resident cards can vary in cost; in my state, the cost is equal to the amount a resident pays in property taxes that go the library.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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I purchased a membership in the Fairfax County Public Library and am happy with the selection there. Cost is $27 for a year subscription and anyone can join. They have 2,000 ebooks and 6,000 audiobooks. The FCPL is one of the largest public libraries in the U.S.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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I was disappointed that my small library doesn't have ebooks, and the county group it is in doesn't either. But I nosed around, and I found out that the Chicago Public Library has a reciprocal arrangement with my county.It was free (I had to apply in person, and stand there while they called to see if I had overdue books or fines) and I walked out with it that day. I haven't looked back since.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:55 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for the help everyone.

desertgrandma: That's a great link, I'll definitely try the libraries that say you can apply by mail. I've added a section on New Mexico.

KarenH: Ah, that's the ticket! I had searched for "buy library card" but that only got me links to extraordinarily expensive factual libraries I could use in person. Isn't it funny how sometimes you need just the right words to unlock the data you want.

Linda!: I will check them out.

- Joel C.
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