circulating nooks & kindles

The following was posted to the allregions library list:
This question is for libraries circulating nooks & kindles.
How do you prevent patrons from visiting the kindle store or B & N .com and buying e-books that the library then has to pay for?
– We did password protect the nooks, but at least one was returned no longer password protected, and the patron was able to download 4 books!
– We were assured by Amazon that no one would be able to purchase using our acct. without our password. However, I tested this and was easily able to purchase a book directly from the kindle, charged to our library’s gift card, without entering any passwords or the gift card number.
– If we password protect the kindles, then no one can read with them unless we give out the password.
Our borrowing policy, which patrons must read and sign when borrowing an e-reader, clearly states that patrons must pay for books they download. Still, it is much better to prevent this from happening.
Any advice you can provide would be fantastic!
Thank you,
Robin Shtulman
Athol Public Library
568 Main Street
Athol, MA 01331


3 Replies to “circulating nooks & kindles”

  1. Hello and THANK YOU to all the wonderful librarians who shared their expertise!

    The only way libraries have found to prevent patrons from buying kindle books (on the library’s account) is to Un-register them before they circulate. They then re-register the kindles in order to purchase more kindle books and load them to the readers, and un-register them again before they go back out to patrons. Amazon holds all the library’s kindle books in the account. The already downloaded books stay on the individual kindles, even after they are unregistered. Some libraries have also turned off the wireless feature on the individual machines.

    Nooks are trickier. They can be password protected, but libraries have not had consistent success with passwords as a preventive measure. The best advice I have received is to have no default payment method set and to have no open gift card balance. (When you un-register nooks, you lose your books.)

    We have also added laminated, bold-type, capital-lettered, printed-on-red-paper signs to each of our e-reader cases. They say “Do NOT Connect to the Kindle [Nook] store.”

    Robin Shtulman

  2. So libraries haven’t had issues with the de-registering removing
    access to purchased Kindle books? I’m pretty sure I’ve had that occur
    as an issue with both our Kindle and our Sony reader.


  3. I’m a librarian at a middle/high school with 15 circulating Kindles. I prevent students from downloading eBooks by only purchasing books with $10 Amazon gift cards. I enter in enough gift cards at any one time to make the purchase I need without leaving enough of a balance on the account for anyone to be able to purchase a book. It is also stated in the contract/permission form (that they and a guardian must sign) that they are not allowed to purchase any eBooks without prior permission from me AND the devices are not allowed to be connected to any wireless networks. This is my second year with the Kindles and I have never had a problem with students making any purchases.

    – Jenna

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