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eBooks and eReaders

The library often receives questions about eBooks and eBook readers, and borrowing eBooks from the library.  Below are some of the most common questions we get along with answers and links to information you can download and print out.



To check out our eBook collection (and audiobooks too!) visit the BRIDGES website.




Most common Questions and Answers:


Q:  What is an eBook?

A:  eBooks are digital books that can be read on a PC or Mac® computer, an eReader device like the Amazon Kindle, Sony® Reader, as well as iPads, iPods, and Smartphones.


Q:  Are all eBooks usable on all eBook readers/devices?

A:  No.  eBooks are digital files and some are in PDF format, some are in EPUB format, and some are in Kindle format (to name the three most popular).  eReaders are formatted to read one or two of these file formats but no reader is capable of reading all three except a tablet (iPad or Android) or Smartphone. The most popular eReaders and their formats are:

  • Nook - EPUB or PDF formats
  • Kindle - Kindle formats
  • iPad/Smartphone - EPUB, PDF, or Kindle formats depending on which application you choose to use (click here to download instructions on how to download these book apps to your iPad).


Q:  What's the differences between the eReaders?

A:  All of the Nook, Sony, and Kindle eReaders have different models with different options and functions and memory.  Attached is a quick overview of all the types of devices. The one you pick depends on which one you like best and if it does what you want it to do and if the price falls within what you can afford.  For more information about all e-readers we recommend you go to a store that sells the device(s) you are interested in so you can touch them, see how they work, and get your questions answered.


Q:  What's the difference between an e-reader and a tablet?

A: A traditional, black & white e-reader is designed specifically to allow the user to read ebooks and some newspapers.  Some of the new color e-readers by Kindle and Nook also give the user the ability to read magazines, newspapers, and download apps to play games.  A tablet does all of these things plus more.  iPad, Kindle Fire, and Nook Tablet are the most popular tablets available.  You can read ebooks on all of them but you can also watch videos, surf the internet, and download music (just to name a few).  For more information about all tablets we recommend you go to a store that sells the device(s) you are interested in so you can touch them, see how they work, and get your questions answered.


Q:  Do you have to purchase ebooks?

A:  No.  Many ebooks are available for purchase but there are thousands that are either free or can be borrowed from your library.  Here are lists of websites that sell ebooks and have free ebooks.


Q:  Are ebooks available to borrow from the library?

A:  Yes! 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. Currently, NEIBORS has 3,176 ebooks and 2,489 audiobooks with more titles being added every month.


Q:  What do I need to borrow ebooks from the library?

A:  In order to borrow ebooks from the library you need the following items:

  • a library card with the James Kennedy Public Library (you'll need the barcode number off the back)
  • Must live within the Dyersville city limits, live in a town that pays for library service, or have a paid membership at the JKPL
  • an e-reader or computer that can support ebooks
  • an email address
  • access to the internet
  • access to a WiFi internet connection (if using Sony or iPad e-readers)
  • Adobe Digital Editions software (NEIBORS will give you this for free) if using the Nook or the Overdrive app on the iPad
  • an account with (if using Kindle or the Kindle app on iPad)


Q:  How do I borrow ebooks from the library?

A:  Ebooks can be checked out from the NEIBORS website at or follow the link from the library’s website on the Books & Reading tab at   Basically, you find the book you want on the NEIBORS website, check it out, then download it to your e-reader.  Below are instructions for how to download books based on your e-reader:


Q:  How do I know which file format I should select when picking a book on NEIBORS?

A:  Which file format you use depends on what type of e-reader you are using.

  • Sony:  EPUB or PDF
  • Kindle:  Kindle
  • Nook:  EPUB or PDF
  • iPad:  Kindle if using the Kindle app, EPUP or PDF if using the Overdrive app


Q:  How many ebooks can I check out at one time?

A:  You can check out 3 books at a time.


Q:  How long can I check out an ebook?

A:  You can check out an ebook for 14 days.  After 14 days the book will expire from the computer and be automatically returned to the digital collection.


Q:  Can I renew an ebook?

A:  No, you cannot renew an ebook.  However, once your loan ends you can check the book out again if no one else has.


Q:  Can I return a book early?

A:  Yes, you can return an ebook early.  The instructions to do so are included in the instructions for borrowing books (listed above).


Q:  How will I know if an ebook I put on hold is ready for me to check out?

A:  BRIDGES will email you once the ebook you put on hold is ready to be checked out.  You will have 3 days from the date of the email to log in to NEIBORS and download the book.

Q:  Do I have to be in the library to check out ebooks?

A:  No!  You can check out ebooks wherever you have access to a computer, the Internet, and your library card.