Rochester Library to Offer Downloads to Kindles

On April 20th Amazon announced a new alliance with Overdrive which will make Kindle compatible e-books available later this year.  The Rochester Hills Public Library has been offering free downloadable e-books for several years and is looking forward to this new alliance.  Last year over 16,000 e-books were borrowed through the library. The usage was slightly over 9,000 the previous year so it is obvious that there is growing interest in e-books.  Librarians noticed a dramatic increase in interest right after the holidays as e-book readers were the big gift of the 2010 holiday season.
“Up until this announcement was made the Kindle was not compatible with Overdrive’s service, to which the library subscribes,” said library director Christine Lind Hage.  The Amazon Kindle e-book reader only read materials the owner purchased or downloaded through Amazon.  The library is committed to offering books free of charge, so it wasn’t able to service Kindle.  Later this year this will change.�
“We anticipate increased usage of our e-book collection when Kindles are mixed into our compatible readers including many smart phones, the iPad, the Sony Digital Book Reader and the popular Nook reader sold by Barnes and Noble,”  said Sheila Konen, Head of Adult Services at the library.�
In 2010 the Rochester Hills Public Library checked out almost 2 million items so e-book usage is not the most popular format for readers in the library’s service area, but as the statistics show it is a growing interest. “We want to serve everyone in this community, so our e-books collection will continue to expand,” said Hage.  “This announcement by Amazon and Overdrive will open our free e-book service to many more people.”�
There is much speculation that public libraries will go away, but Hage says that this isn’t a new or realistic prediction.  “Public libraries were going to go away when the Internet arrived, yet we have seen continued and greatly expanded usage of the library over the last 15 years.  E-books will just become another one of the reading formats that the library will offer,” said Hage.
E-books offer many advantages:
• Titles are available 24/7 from the library’s website,
• You don’t have to return e-books to the library as they are automatically checked back into the library at the end of the 21 day loan period,�
• Since the books are automatically checked in there are no late fees,
• The  print size can be adjusted to one that is comfortable to each individual,
• The readers hold thousands of titles and are light weight making it convenient when you are traveling
• There are a wide and growing variety of titles available including books for children, best sellers, mysteries, romances, fantasy, investment, computers, travel, biographies, history and more.
In order to borrow an e-book you must have a valid Rochester Hills Public Library card, a computer with an Internet connection (broadband recommended), free software available through the library and a device on which to read the book.  The library has helpful download instruction on its website and offers classes once a month on how the service works.
Anyone who lives or works in Rochester, Rochester Hills or Oakland Township is eligible for a free library card and can download e-books.  The Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and 3 blocks east of Main Street.  The library is open from 9 – 9 Monday through Thursday, 9 – 6 on Fridays and Saturday and from 1 – 6 on Sundays.  The library’s website ( has information on how to register for a card and access all of the library’s services.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

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