Summary of e-reader circulation in MA

On Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM, Robin Shtulman <>wrote:

First, I do apologize for how long it’s been between asking the question
and posting a summary of responses.

I did hear from 12 libraries that circulate a variety of e-readers.

Those who had newer models, such as ipads, tablet computers, and kindle
fires reported greatest satisfaction with how they are circulating.

2 libraries reported really good circulation
1  specifically has an “OverDrive test drive” program which has been
5 libraries report moderate to disappointing circulation, primarily a
flurry when they were new, followed by dribs and drabs
4 report very little patron use of their e-readers

We have 3 nooks and 3 kindles.
The nooks are touch screen.
The kindles have the keyboard along the bottom.

We have had articles in the newspaper, signs in the library, & e-mails to
our patrons announcing their availability.
When we first got them, we did have waiting lists and excitement.
Right now, all six are in the drawer.

We have 2 very active book groups, and I do put those titles on the
e-readers.  We had some success with those patrons borrowing the e-readers
for a while, especially those who liked the font-size flexibility.

Many of our most avid readers have reported that they simply don’t enjoy
using a machine to read.

I also think that there’s a learning curve and 2 weeks may not be long
enough to get really comfortable and start having a good time.

We’ve had some interest from patrons who would like to try the ipad but,
currently, we do not have one.

I’m not sorry we have the e-readers — It was a good resource for the
patrons who tried them.  I do just still feel conflicted about continuing
to spend money from our book budget on titles for them.

As gathered from the allregions list by Robin Shtulman, Assistant Director Athol Public Library


eReader registration without credit cards

Our library recently acquired two Kindles, and a Nook Color.   I had been told by two separate sources I trusted you could not establish accounts with B&N or Amazon without a credit card attached, and without an account you could not register a reader.  The need for an account to register is true, but apparently the credit card part was true at one time but no longer.

I have found you can establish accounts with both B&N, and Amazon without attaching a credit card and that the accounts work fine for registering the devices, and regarding the Kindle downloading library material.   If you want to download anything else on either, even if it’s a free app, you are prompted to attach a credit card and can go no future without one.  Since all we will be doing with these devices is downloading library materials, and demos, that works just fine for us and takes the worry of patrons purchasing downloads to them off the table.

In doing this  research it has been indicated if we ever do want to download anything else on these we can use a prepaid gift card like Am Express or MasterCard, the amount on the card does not matter.  The card has to be one that has an expiration date, and we’d have to call the company to attach a name and address to it for B&N and Amazon to accept it as an account card.   Everything I’ve read seems to say Am Express works the best for this purpose.  There was also some talk that an Amazon gift card would work too but that explanation was a little fuzzy so that one I’m unsure of.

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

Circulating pre-loaded ebook readers

Responses from an original email sent to the allregions list by Barbra Nadler, Director Sharon Public Library, requesting information on circulating preloaded ebook readers.

Ultimately this was their final decision:
We decided against it however because it is illegal, or at least violates terms of agreement of some models, we didn’t want to be promoting/advertising one brand over another, it seemed like way too much extra work for staff, and we have never had a patron request this. More often people just want to try the readers out and we suggest they go over to Best Buy where they can try several at one stop or B&N to try the Nook. The most aksed question from our patrons regarding ebooks and ebook readers is help with downloading OverDrive.
After the above post, the following replies were sent out:

Beth from Andover replied:
At Andover, we decided that we want to be in the e-content business, not the e-device business. We decided it is too much work to learn and support multiple devices that are changing all the time. We have spent a lot in the last year on e-content. We know that e-content is also in flux, but we want to have skin in the game, so we’re trying different e-content products and we’ll drop them if they don’t get used enough to justify the expense.

Pingsheng Chen from Worcester Public Library replied:
Worcester Public Library is about to launch an eReader Lending Pilot service. We are going to circulate 4 Kindle and 4 NookColor. We think we have figured out everything in terms of check-in and check-out procedures, collection development, and ins and outs of Kindle and Nookcolor.

We have also been working with many ebooks providers to strengthen our digital collections in various formats for people who have a reading device want to download the library’s ebooks, eaudiobooks and emusic.

Curtis Wyant of the Wilmington Memorial Library replied:

At Wilmington, we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive patron response to our e-readers. We currently have (3) older Sony Readers, (1) new Kindle, (3) b&w Nooks, (1) color nook, and (2) iPads. There are around 25 people on the waiting list for our iPads! I think it is very important for libraries to be early adopters of technology and give the public a pressure-free environment to try out new products (instead of a retail store). Obviously, these are an added expense which must be taken into account, and we have to decide what we’re going to do with outdated e-readers. I don’t think very many patrons asked about the e-readers, but once we bought a few and started promoting them, the response was enormous.

Circulating Readers – Hanson Public Library

Thank you to Nancy Cappellini, Director of the Hanson Public Library, for providing this information.

Nancy has been working with Tersea White from Barnes and Noble who has been very helpful.  Hanson purchased several titles through a Barnes and Noble gift card. Teresa issues them a gift card and then Hanson calls her with the titles. So far they’ve purchased 15 titles mostly summer reading titles and they do have a block on the reader so patrons can’t download or make purchases. They had to buy a prepaid credit card for 5 dollars to attach to the downloads.

Teresa has worked with OCLN and the Kingston library. Nancy went to the Barnes and Noble site to make the purchase and then contacted Teresa to set up an account.  She works out of derby street Barnes and Noble and has been most helpful.

Contact info: Tersea R. White Community Relations Manager 96 Derby St. Hingham, Ma. 02043  Phone 781-749-4751 email