eBooks @ Your Library
newspaper article in the Dyersville Commerical
eBook readers were one of the “hottest” gifts this holiday season, and the library has had
several questions about eBook readers – “Does the library have eBooks to check out?”
and “Can you help me figure out how to use this thing?” are two of the most common.
The answers are “Yes” and “We’ll try!”
eBooks are digital books that can be read on a PC or Mac® using free reader software
called Adobe® Digital Editions. eBooks can also be transferred to popular e-reading
devices like the Amazon Kindle, Sony® Reader and the Barnes & Noble Nook™ as well as iPads, iPods, and many smart phones. eBooks are great – especially in Iowa in the winter – as you can
access them (if you have a computer and Internet service) at anytime. There are a couple
of ways to get eBooks - You can find free ones, buy them, or borrow them from your
The James Kennedy Public Library is a member of the North Eastern Iowa Bridge to
Online Resource Sharing (NEIBORS), a consortium of libraries that provides eBooks and
downloadable audiobooks books to their patrons. Anyone with a JKPL library card can
use this service. To get started, just go to www.neibors.lib.overdrive.com or follow the
link from the library’s website on the Books & Reading tab at www.dyersville.lib.ia.us.
The books are downloaded to a computer using the Internet and can be read there or
transferred to an eBook reader or other compatible device. You are allowed to check out two books at a time and at the end of 14 days, the books will expire from the computer and be automatically returned to the digital collection. Some books can also be returned early so that you can check out more. Books can also be placed on hold and you will receive an email letting you know when a title is available for you to download. The service is free, easy-to-use, and available anytime from anywhere. All you need is your library card and access to a computer and the Internet – and the
James Kennedy Public Library can provide you with all three!
Because eBooks are somewhat new, there is a huge demand for them. The NEIBORS
collection is growing, but it is still small and so sometimes people are frustrated because
they can’t find a book they want to read, or all of those they want have hold lists already.
Please, put the titles on hold – we will be adding copies as demand warrants and funding
allows. There is also a button on the website where you can “Suggest a Title.” There are also
many places you can go for free eBooks. At the NEIBORS site, if you scroll to the
bottom of the page, there is a link to “Additional eBooks Always Available.” This link takes
you to books that are in the public domain. They are always available and will not affect
the number of other books you can check out. There are also several websites that offer
free eBooks. Two examples are Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) and Google
There is one more thing to consider. Not all eBooks can be read on all readers. The
Kindle, for example, is a very popular reader sold by Amazon. The Kindle uses
proprietary software and only recently started allowing eBooks to be borrowed from NEIBORS while eBooks for the Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader have been available for a longer period of time. Because of this, there are fewer eBooks available for the Kindle than for the other eReaders.
The library is working to put together some documents to help you with eBooks and eBook
readers. These will include step-by-step instructions on how to check out eBooks from the
NEIBORS site. We currently have classes scheduled on eBooks and readers on January 16 at 7:00 pm and February 11 at 11:00 am. Registration is requested for both classes. While the staff at the library is not yet experts on all the eReader devices we are more than happy to try to answer your questions and help you get books to read. Please feel free to call the library or bring your device and stop in and someone will be able to help you.