Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Check Out E-Books from Terrebonne Parish Library

Do you have an e-book reader, or are you thinking about getting one? If so, you're not alone.  E-books have finally hit the big time. Earlier this year, e-book sales surpassed print book sales--both paperback and hardback--for the first time ever. This doesn't mean print books are going away, but it does mean people have more options for reading their favorite authors. Some people assume that e-books and libraries are incompatible, but the truth is, Terrebonne Parish Library has a large and growing collection of e-books.  If you have a computer, an internet connection, and a library card, you can check them out without ever leaving your house.

So what exactly does it mean to "check out" an e-book?  Basically, it means you download an electronic version of the book to a computer, e-reader, or other mobile device.  You can choose whether to check the book out for one week or two.  At the end of this period, the book "returns" itself, by expiring and becoming unreadable.  Then you can simply delete it from your device.

To see our selection of e-books, go to the library's website at, and click on e-library, as shown below.

This link takes you to our e-library page, which is powered by a company called Overdrive.  The e-library page offers more than just e-books;  you can also download audiobooks, music, and videos.  We'll focus on e-books in this post.  To browse e-books, you can either click on the e-books pictured, or go to the links on the left side of the page, labeled "eBook Fiction" and "eBook Nonfiction".  Clicking on either one will open a menu with several categories:

If you don't yet have an e-reader, and you're trying to decide which one to buy, this link has a list of compatible devices (the Amazon Kindle doesn't work with library e-books right now, but Amazon has announced that it will sometime later this year).  If you already have an e-book reader, the process of downloading books depends on which reader you have.  This is where it gets a little complicated.  Luckily, the library's e-book page has a new tool called MyHelp, which will get you started.  Just look near the top left side of the page for the icon shown below.  Clicking this link opens an interactive tutorial that will guide you through the steps of downloading your first library e-book.

There are several steps required to set up your device the first time.  You will need to download software to your computer, or download an app to your Apple or Android mobile device.  This can be a little confusing at first, but the MyHelp tool will tell you exactly what you need to do.  During the setup process, you will be prompted to register your computer or portable device with Adobe.  This is required, because Adobe handles the rights-management technology that allows e-books to be checked out and returned.  

If you are downloading to a computer, or to most e-readers, you will need to download a program called Adobe Digital Editions.  The MyHelp tool provides a link to the download, and some basic instructions.  If you need more help with Adobe Digital Editions, the Terrebonne Parish Library IT staff has developed a handy guide, available here.  The first part of the guide explains how to install Adobe Digital Editions, and the second part explains how to browse for e-books, add them to your cart, and download them. 

If you have any questions, or run into any problems, just give the library reference staff a call at 876-1733.  We'll be glad to help get you started reading your first library e-book!  

1 comment:

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