All About e-Readers

If the title of this post caught your eye, it’s likely that  a) you own an e-reader; b) you are curious about e-readers; or c) you are about to receive an e-reader as a gift (remember to act surprised!). Whichever category you fall into, we are here to help.

Some worry that e-readers mean the end of paper books in libraries. Not so! We embrace this digital incarnation of our much-loved books, and it’s a good thing; e-books (electronic, digital books) and e-readers (the devices on which e-books can be read) represent a growing part of the book market. This is great news for people looking to dip their toes in the digital waters.

There are many variations among e-readers, but one thing all e-readers can do is check out e-books from the library. Go to the Digital Media Catalog, sign in with your library card number and PIN (come visit us at the reference desk if you’ve forgotten your PIN), and follow the steps to download or reserve an e-book.

This can be a somewhat complicated process no matter how tech-savvy you are, so…we are offering an All About E-readers” program to help out! Bring yourself and your library card (and an e-reader, if you like) to the Robbins Library Community Room on Wednesday, January 2, from 7-8:30 pm. We’ll start by going over some basics, then we’ll be available for one-on-one help.


Whether or not you can attend our program, you’ll want to educate yourself before making a purchase. A great resource is Consumer Reports, which you can access for free through the library: browse through print copies at the reference desk, or access the database online through the library website (at the library or at home). Sometimes the way Consumer Reports describes a product is easier to understand than the product literature itself.

Now for a word of caution: some e-readers may be tracking your reading habits so they can customize their marketing efforts to suit your taste. (Invasion of privacy? Yes and no…it’s in the Terms of Use you agree to by using the device.) You can make sure you aren’t taken unawares by consulting this thorough chart from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


If all of this e-reader stuff still seems overwhelming, try to remember that nowadays all e-readers do a very nice job of presenting your book in a digital format.  The differences aren’t so very different, and we’re happy to help you navigate the e-world.

This entry was posted in Books, Databases and Research, Programs, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

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