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Online EBook Borrowing:

If you have an ereader device (such as a Kindle or Nook) and don't want to buy a book for your use, you might instead just borrow some for a while. Public libraries have been moving into digital book lending, just as they lend with their paper versions. OverDrive, a major supplier of ebooks to public libraries, reported a 200 percent increase in the circulation of ebooks in 2010 from the previous year (Overdrive 2011). The ebooks that you can access from a public library can be downloaded onto mobile devices such as the BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, iPad, ebook readers like the NOOK, Kindle, and Sony Reader, and can be run on desktop or laptop computers.

Some of the advantages of using these ebook lending clubs or the digital download ebook version from your library include:
  • This kind of library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • It doesn't require a physical trip to the library or bookstore to get more books
  • You don't have to return books, they “return" themselves
  • Since they return themselves (therefore always on-time) there are never any late fees
  • No cost to you, your classroom or school book budget for increased access to books

I used Overdrive’s library search tool and found 37 different libraries using the Overdrive system in my home state. To check to see if your local library uses Overdirve, go to, then select the option to Search for a Library, enter your zip code and see what libraries are nearby. If your local library doesn’t have the digital checkout and download ability, check other regional libraries around you that may accept your district library card for their collection. Most libraries have reciprocal borrowing arrangements, and you may be able to use your library card with them, or purchase a non-resident library card.

Library Ebook Resources:
  • Overdrive Search ( to find a local library that allows digital book check-out
  • Overdrive Media Console ( Software to check out overdrive ebooks, audiobooks, and more
  • Adobe Digital Editions (

Ebook Reader Lending Clubs

Ebook lending clubs act like private libraries allowing Nook or Kindle ebook users (remember this applies to both the device and the software running on a computer) to check-out and borrow books from other club members. These borrowable books are not just restricted to public domain books now available. Instead these clubs are more like private or subscription libraries. This kind of lending though does have a few limitations. First, the book’s publisher is the one who decides if that version of a book can be loaned. To see if a Kindle ebook is allowed to be lent, on its Amazon page for the ebook version, in the product details section, there should be a Lending information item, if there is and it lists “Enabled” then that book is lendable, otherwise not. To see if a NOOK ebook can be lended, look in your NOOK’s library, check for the LendMe icon next to your NOOK book list.  Another limitation to remember, is that each book you own can be lent out to only one person at a time or borrowed from a person or library for a period of 14 days.

Ebook Borrowing Resources