From January 4th-13th, the New York Public library is stepping up their efforts to help new owners of the Kindle and other e-readers learn how to download e-books from the library’s vast digital collection.
NYPL has over 22,000 e-books ready to check out, and in addition to on site help through trained reference librarians, the library system has also launched a website called E-Book Central.
Lending Kindle e-books in libraries is a fairly new service, but as a librarian I see first hand how much a service like E-Book Central is needed. I get questions about it often at the library where I work. E-reader sales this holiday season were record breaking, so the demand is much greater. Just like regular books, good Kindle books are snatched up quickly.
The process for checking out e-books is quite simple once you find the book you want. The New York Public Library provides a detailed, step by step guide for downloading e-books from their collection onto any mobile device or e-reader.
Two things you need before you start: An Amazon account, and an account with your local library that supports Kindle e-books. If you don’t have a Kindle itself, there are apps for the Mac, PC, smartphones, and iPad that you can download for free.
Kindle books from the public library appear in your Kindle’s home screen just like other books. After the check out time is up, it will automatically disappear. Check out times usually run anywhere from 7-21 days depending on the library.
Now that the Kindle Library Lending program is up and running, I hope more libraries will follow NYPL’s example and provide more formal e-book training for their patrons. Many libraries don’t have the staff or time available to dedicate to a project like this, but it is something that would save time in the long run.
So, if you live in NYC, see the E-Book Central website for dates and times when training is available, or check out the guides for checking out e-books on different mobile devices.