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these are an added expense which must be taken into account, and we have to decide what we’re going to do with outdated e-readers.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.


Marking e-readers as library property

Reposted from the All Regions list.

Most libraries mark every piece of the e-reader (machine, cord,
charger, instruction booklet, carrying case) with the barcode number.

Some give each component its own barcode number.

Labeling methods include:
fabric marker
contrasting color Sharpie
electric etcher
soldering iron
barcode stickers with clear label protectors

Most libraries put all of the pieces in a box or carrying bag, which
bears the name of the library (and, in some cases, another barcode).
Some simply use the same kind of bags in which we typically see
children’s book & audio sets.

Most libraries registered their e-readers to the library so that it is
obvious who owns them.

Most libraries have the brorowers sign an agreement each time the
e-reader is borrowed.

One library photcopies the borrower’s driver’s license.

One library does not mark the exterior at all, as the readers will
eventually be used a raffle prizes.

No one reports any trouble getting patrons to take care of the readers
or bring them back.  🙂

Thanks again,

Robin Shtulman
Athol Public Library

Marking e-readers as library property

We have 3 nooks – 1 in-house and 2 circulating.

The barcode and spine label is placed on the inside of the case and taped
and the number is written on the rest of the pieces (the back of the nook,
the adapter, the charger, and the instruction booklet)

We put in the staff note that patrons over the age of 18 can borrow this
item for 2 weeks and then there is a circ note that says borrowing
agreement needs to be signed and driver’s License photocopied for checkout.

When a patron checks the item out we take a copy of their license and we
have them sign an agreement which clearly states the cost for total
replacement of the item and the amount if a single piece is missing or

You can also program the nook with your name – so ours is name Middleboro
Public Library c.1 and it can open to our home page.

Posted on behalf of Middleboro Public Library

Whitman’s Method

Reprinted from Scott’s Tech Tips – a Librarian’s blog on tech & the digital world

Hi all, here’s the info I compiled from my question re: ereaders. I have in my paws the Sony reader touch, and the B&N Nook. We’re still looking through policies, etc, but I think we are going to take date-specific reservations, and are going to charge $1.00 per day at the time of the registration. This way folks can have it when they want it, for one day or two weeks, and the small fee will make the reservation a little more meaningful. My trustees are particularly excited to market the accessibility issue with our patrons. These readers will open up the Large Print collection tremendously. It seems that most libraries who lend the Kindle (those who wrote to me, anyway) have patrons sign a contract that clearly delineates how much a replacement charge would cost (don’t forget cords and content!) and
require an adult driver’s license.

Here’s the compilation of MA libraries circulating Kindles:
-Belmont Library
-Marian Court College, Swampscott
-Boston Athenaeum
-Diman Regional Vocational-Technical High School, Fall River

I would research this very carefully before deciding to go with a Kindle – first of all they don’t work with library subscription ebooks such as those from netLibrary or Overdrive. Secondly I understand that they store the credit card buying information so that there is a risk(?) of a patron buying additional books for it from Amazon and it automatically being charged to the card the library uses to purchase ebooks from Amazon? I don’t own one, but that caution was brought up in a meeting I recently attended. Also, Nadine (Director, Lynn (MA) Public Library) raises an interesting point about circulating Kindles might be going against Amazon’s licensing rules as well. The Sony ebook is actively working with Overdrive in promoting library ebooks and library usage…

Jennifer Inglis
I found this helpful info:

Circulating Kindles

The Lunenburg Public Library has been circulating Kindles for close to 6 months. We received a minigrant from the former CMRLS and I was able to purchase 3 Kindles and download several titles. We have over 15 holds on the Kindles currently, so I recently purchased 2 more and am in the process of adding them to the collection (along with several new titles) as well.
The feedback that I have received from patrons has been overwhelmingly positive. They are more interested in “trying one out” than in any particular title that is found on the Kindle. My son’s 11th grade English teacher borrowed one and discussed the pros and cons of e-readers to his class. We loan out other “non-book” items and find that the public appreciates us doing that so that they may try various equipment and technology that they 1-may not be able to afford or 2-would like to try before purchasing. I see this as just another service we provide to our patrons and probably good publicity for Amazon.
Ideally, it would be great if we could all purchase various forms of technology/electronic equipment and make them available through ILL. Libraries are about equal access to information and are great equalizers in our society. What better way to do that than to provide our patrons with access to technology they might not be able to afford?
Just my thoughts…..
Amy L. Sadkin
Lunenburg Public Library