eBooks summary

Defining ebooks  – text designed to be read on an electronic screen.  (Not audiobooks)

eReaders are the devices used to read eBooks. Some people call these eBooks, but a distinction should be made.

Which eReaders work for Overdrive eBooks?  Sony Reader, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo eReader.  Not Kindles!

Kindles do not use epub format for their eBooks.

When it comes to patrons using library eBooks on their own devices, Sony Reader and Kobo are most library-friendly.  The Nook is the next most library-friendly. Kindles are library-hostile. (Michael’s opinion)

Omaha Public Library has Overdrive eBooks for download.  They stay on your device for 2 weeks. They will not disappear until you sync your eReader with your computer.

Blio – software designed to be used on any device

e-ink vs. LCD display: e-ink causes less eyestrain and has longer battery life

http://www.biguniverse.com/ Access to eBooks for children. Available via subscription.

Benefits of eBooks:

  • Easier to carry a lot of books with you at once
  • Searchable
  • Ability to alter the size of the text
  • Some devices have text-to-speech capability
  • Potentially cheaper
  • Increased privacy – others don’t know what you’re reading
  • More environmentally friendly? (Have to take into account manufacturing of the devices)

Downsides to eBooks:

  • Books available in collections might not be what your patrons want
  • Competing standards, vendors, formats, etc.
  • Do you really own eBooks or are you buying access to them?
  • Difficulty of sharing (The Nook has sharing feature – can loan a book for a week to one friend)
  • Need for battery power
  • Miss out on the physical experience of interacting with a print book
  • May not be able to access the files as technology changes

NLC has a recorded session about UNO circulating Kindles.

Economics of eBook publishing – they are not always cheaper than print books.


  • colleges requiring students to purchase Kindle version of textbooks?
  • textbook companies cutting deals with eReader providers

Technology behind eReaders:

  • e-ink only uses power when you change the screen; LCD displays contantly use power
  • e-ink is not backlit; you can’t read in the dark, but you can see better in sunlight

Right now, eBooks basically replicate print books – will the technology be used to do more (add videos, etc.)?

eBooks licensing complicates the process of getting a book into your collection.  In some ways, eBooks are more work than print books, just different work. Getting individual eBooks presents different challenges than purchasing collections does.

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