The Yolo County Library now offers a selection of eBooks for Amazon.com’s e-reader, the Kindle.
“[We] currently have leased rights to 846 eBooks which include 717 Kindle books,” said Davis Branch Library Manager Jay Johnstone in an e-mail. “The collection was started last year and continues to grow as we add more titles.”
Checking out Kindle books is similar to checking out library books.
“Just like other library books, if the Kindle book is checked out, you can reserve it and be notified by e-mail when it is ready,” Johnstone said. “Unlike other library books, a Kindle book loan cannot be renewed.”
According to Johnstone, a Kindle book is leased for the usual book borrowing policy of three weeks. Once the lease period ends, the content is disabled.
The Yolo County Library has a link on its homepage that directs people to the library’s digital media collection site. From there, people can begin checking out and downloading eBooks and audio books.
“Yolo County Library digital books and audio are made available in Kindle book, Adobe EPUB, Adobe PDF, WMA and MP3 formats through our partnership with Overdrive.com,” Johnstone said. “[They] are compatible with a huge variety of computers and mobile devices including Windows and Apple, smart phones, iPod, iPod Touch and tablets such as the iPad, Nook, Sony e-reader and Galaxy.”
According to the Yolo County Library, in order to check out and download digital media, a person needs a valid library card and internet access. A person also needs a computer or device that meets the system requirements for the type of material a person wishes to download and the free software for the computer or device on which a person wants to use the material, available through the digital media collection site.
“In order to read Kindle books licensed by the Yolo County Library, the user needs a Yolo County Library borrower’s card,” Johnstone said. “Picture identification and proof of current mailing address are required to obtain a free Yolo County Library borrower card.”
The library card works similarly to an online credit card purchase.
Johnstone said in order to borrow Kindle books, people have to go to the Yolo County Library website to access the Download Media icon. Then they can search the catalog for an item to check out and place it into the checkout cart. From there, they can check the item out on their library cards. He said people would then be directed to use their Kindle readers to download the material from Amazon as though they were buying it.
Since the library has added Kindle compatibility to their eBook collection, it has seen a surge in the number of checkouts on digital media.
“We have seen a huge interest in downloading books,” said Assistant Yolo County Librarian Elizabeth Gray in an e-mail. “The ability of folks to download onto their Kindles has resulted in many more people coming to Yolo County Library to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Johnstone said the availability of borrowing digital media in various formats has allowed for a wider audience to have access to library material, especially since Amazon’s Kindle has such a large user base.
“The week after Amazon announced that Kindles could read library eBooks, the Yolo County Library experienced a 16 percent increase in checkouts of digital materials and an increase of 62 percent in reservations on digital items,” Johnstone said.
The eBooks will be available at all eight branches of the Yolo County Library system: Clarksburg, Davis and South Davis, Esparto, Knights Landing, West Sacramento, Winters and Yolo.
CLAIRE TAN can be reached at email@example.com.