Many people in Frederick County got eReaders or tablets for the holidays and have been learning how to use FCPL's online collections to read eBooks. For people still learning how to use library eBooks, we have step-by-step guides for different devices available at our branches and on our eBooks page. All branches offer basic help to people who come in with devices. All branches provide "help on demand." Urbana offers training sessions by appointment; for information call 301-600-7004. More training may be coming; check with your branch about what is available.
Owners of the popular Amazon Kindle have been able to use our eBook collections since the fall of 2011. Kindles work a little differently than the other devices; they don't use Adobe Digital Editions and you need to use your Amazon account to download the books you've checked out in OverDrive. To find out more, you can look at our step-by-step guide mentioned above, or click on the big "My Help!" link in when you're in the eLibrary Consortium.
Many of our downloadable eBooks are part of a large statewide collection, but FCPL buys some copies of eBooks for just our patrons. Don't forget to log in with your library card number while you're browsing the eLibrary Consortium so you can see the books that are only ours.
Demand for eBooks is very high, and we try our best to provide you with new popular titles. Unfortunately, not all eBooks are available for our collections. Some major publishers don't allow libraries to buy and lend some or all of their books. eBooks are a growing and changing market, and we will follow important developments to keep you informed and provide great books for you to read electronically. For more about the state of eBooks in libraries, see this article from The Washington Post.
For those of you using eBooks for research and learning, books in FCPL's Virtual Reference Library lets you download entire articles and chapters to eReaders as PDFs. Once an article is on your eReader you can keep it as long as you want; it does not "disappear." Find Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, the Gale Encyclopedia of Diets, American Decades Primary Sources, and much, much more.
Borrow a Nook from the Library
Those of you who don't have an eReader can take advantage of FCPL's new eReader Borrowing Program.You can place a hold and have a Barnes & Noble Nook sent to your branch for you to borrow for a week. The Nooks are each stocked with popular titles like The Hunger Games trilogy and The Help. We also provide a quick start guide with each Nook to help you start using it.
Try Out Other Tablets and eReaders at the Tech Bars
Another new program at FCPL is the Tech Bars at C. Burr Artz, Thurmont, Urbana, and Brunswick branches. Each Tech Bar includes a Nook, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPad 2, and Motorola Xoom that you can try out inside the library.
In Fall 2011, FCPL got a new mobile app called Library Anywhere. This app gives you mobile-friendly access to:
- Search our catalog
- Place holds
- View your checkouts, holds, and fines
- Get branch locations, phone number, hours, and events
Use it on any mobile browser as a mobile website (www.libanywhere.com/m/469) or download it as a native app for Apple or Android devices. The native app includes a barcode scanning feature that It lets you scan the ISBN on a book and quickly see if FCPL owns the book in any format.
Find mobile interfaces for some of our other resources on our Mobile Tools page.
Submitted by Amy Swackhamer
Virtual Branch Administrator