Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kindle and Your Library

If you haven't been out for a while, you NEED to make a visit to your local library, especially if you haven't had a library card in a long time. It is painless and if your library is up to speed, the number on your library card can be your ticket to lots and lots of Kindle books you can borrow.

I haven't had a library card since I was a kid. This doesn't mean I haven't continued to love reading. I have had no lack of books available over the years and I guess I just forgot how great a resource it could be. Finding the Memphis Public Library on the Internet several weeks ago was certainly enough to make me find the library closest to me and get a brand new card. I was so proud! At my age! A new library card!

Enough of that. I had planned to experiment with as much of their online offerings as possible, and of course, share my experiences with you, my dear readers.

I found out yesterday that Amazon has made many books available to libraries just lately. Tonight I jumped on the Internet and went to the Memphis Library online to see what kind of trouble I could get into. It was so much fun browsing through the ebooks available for our Kindles.

I found one I wanted to read, clicked the very intuitive buttons and proceeded to "check out." Now this is where it was so nice. In less than 5 minutes, after normal open hours for our library, and in my nightie, I checked out my first ebook. Wow!

The first time may take a little longer. I needed to whip out my actual card and type in the number and pin number (in my case it happened to be the last 4 digits of my library card number) for a one time set up to borrow ebooks.
The Get for Kindle button was nice and handy at the end of the process. I was wondering how in the world a local Public Library would link to my personal Kindle.

Don't know how they did it, but when I pressed the Get for Kindle button, a new browser screen opened with my Amazon account right there. Could be because it was my main computer and it just knew who I was. The library did not have that information at all.
You will eventually end up in the Manage Your Kindle area with your library book listed as the most recent acquisition at the top of the list. click the little down arrow on the Actions button to see your choices. Deliver to my... is where you choose where to send the book. Amazon does all that heavy lifting for you. You don't need anything special to have it sent to your Kindle. It will also be available in your Cloud Reader so you can read it on your computer screen too if you want. It will be tied to your Amazon Kindle account for the duration of the library lending period (looks like I can keep this book until October 14) If you finish your book early, you can return to the Manage Your Kindle area and return it from there, releasing it immediately so someone else can check it out.

I am so impressed. Amazon... this is great! This ought to keep me out of trouble for a while. With around 11,000 US libraries participating, hopefully you will find one close to you too. It is a terrific experience if you love books. I can only imagine the requests that will be pouring in to Amazon to expand this service to other countries' libraries. Oh my!