Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where and how to find libraries using Overdrive + other info & photo guide - UPDATE3


Overdrive Library resources are online 24/7.  Some of the libraries were ready for the Kindle this morning, but others had not been able to change their system processes yet, and Overdrive has said it'll take a few days to get all libraries in place.

In fact, their list of compatible devices this afternoon did not include the Kindle although it did yesterday -- but there was an error in the information seen yesterday, so they're probably just correcting the pages.  Getting 11,000~ libraries into place with the new sync'g systems at the same time has to be a daunting task.

On the SOFTWARE page, Overdrive does mention the Kindle now:
  "Kindle compatability...requires Kindle device or Kindle reading apps developed by Amazon."

To find libraries that are partners in the OverDrive network, visit which shows you a center TAB for "Library Search" right next to the default Title search.

  I still find that the "Classic" Overdrive Library-search (shown at top-left) is clearer as a dedicated search page.

Overdrive is said to be adding Kindle compatability to all of U.S. public and school libraries in its network, and all sites should be updated "within days."

  They add that "most eBooks already in a library's catalog are compatible with Kindle (Amazon does have more contemporary titles than most online stores).  Browse or search for "Kindle Book," check out a title, and then click "Get for Kindle."

The quality of e-book collections in public libraries varies quite a bit.  In the past, those accessing libraries via other e-Readers find that some either don't have many books they want or that the books they want are so in demand, they need to wait for months.  I'm seeing better experiences reported today, but those doing it this week are not encountering the same kind of competition they will, for the e-books, until all the libraries are ready and millions of Kindlers slowly learn about the new Kindle feature.

If there are no libraries with Overdrive in your area or the book collections are not as delicious as you'd like, you can become non-resident members of other libraries.  Here's a good listing of EBook Lending Libraries at Mobileread's Wiki area.

  Scroll down to the Limited Access USA section, which lists digital library collections by state, "many" of them hosted by Overdrive.  They mention some with "Non-Resident fees and the cost involved.

  When I did a Find on the page for "non-res," results indicated that you have to show up once in person even for non-resident cards.

  Those not mentioning "in person" requirement are: Florida's Orange County Library System offers one for $125/yr (yikes); Nevada's Reno - Washoe County, for $50/yr, and Pennsylvania's Free Library of Philadelphia, which offers a library card for out-of-state-residents for $35/year ( ).  No in-person visit required in Philadelphia.

  Their collection, in July, had 4,844 ePub and 1,103 PDF rights-protected e-books.  Under Overdrive, these will be offered in Kindle format if Amazon has the book.

One experience reported by a forum member (KDD) with a deeper background in this:
"I just did this from our library's Overdrive site and it worked beautifully.  Though I have a Kindle myself, as part of my job at the library I had to learn how to use both the Nook and the Kindle.  Borrowing a book for my Kindle was soooo much easier than doing it for a Nook.  Ready to start reading my first Kindle library book."

  Daniel at the Amazon Kindle forums reported that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has 12 copies of The Help with 148 people on the waiting list.

  Some glitches have been reported in a few cases but that's no surprise on the first day of a major change in complex interconnected systems.  There'll be changes made as they go.  Already, it was announced that today the New York Public Library reduced its DEFAULT lending period from 21 days to 14 days.

Update - Island Librarian Nancy Picchi found that the reduction made was only to the "default" lending period and that, during checkout, borrowers can use the drop-down menu to change the loan period from the new default of 14 days to 21 days.  That's a nice way to encourage faster return of e-books so that others don't have to wait as long.

  See Island Librarian's excellent article today on A Snapshot of the Kindle eBook Collection of Four Public Libraries.

UPDATE2 - At the forums, Mean Mr. Mustard wrote an intriguing set of numbers:
' Interesting.  In Salt Lake County Libraries, it shows 13,522 Kindle books, and 10,767 Adobe eBooks. '

  Successful downloading and synching last-page-read for a Kindle book was reported by someone using an iPhone.
  Some have already complained they see ads for other books while checking out.  However, Amazon is a business, not a non-profit agency, and they've a responsibility to shareholders too.  On the new Nook Touch, half of the Home screen of the device itself is reserved for showing books that the Nook owner might enjoy.  These companies have to think about the bottom line while offering features that are much requested by us.

UPDATE3 - TIP: for those with No WiFi access and you want the book sent to your Kindle (especially older Kindles) ... At some point after Overdrive has done the checkout and you're redirected to Amazon, you're asked where you'd like the loaned book sent.  With no WiFi capability, you'd ignore the Send to Kindle option and you'd choose TO download the book to your computer in order to do a USB cable transfer from the computer to your Kindle.

  You can just use the usb cable that is part of your Amazon power cord, to transfer the file to your Kindle device.

Be sure that it goes under the *"documents"* folder of the Kindle.

  Quicker Method
  If you can choose where your downloads go on your computer: With your Kindle attached through the USB connection and given the usual assigned drive letter ( like "f:" )...

  (the drive letter is just an example here) If Kindle is assigned f:, then you would download the book to f:\documents... That's all it would take.  But be sure the book is placed into the 'documents' folder of the Kindle.)

Thanks to Island Librarian Nancy Picchi's alert, here's a link to Seattle Times writer Brier Dudley's excellent set of screen images of the lending process - what you see when checking out a book.

For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date   Late-listed
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular

What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle (U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's)   K3 Special ($114)   K3-3G Special ($139)   DX Graphite Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. It's nice there's a 'Return' feature, I feared there would not be one. If people actually use it, it might help quite a bit with easing demand. Nicer still would be to have it on Kindle itself but I understand Adobe has a patent around that so they might need to negotiate something to do so.

    I was wrong about Sony: you'll be able to browse library selection on the Sony itself (and maybe only on the Sony itself). That is very nice, beats what might one day be possible with the Kindle browser if Overdrive would only tweak their web site appropriately (the 'single browser window' limitation). If I could trade my Nook Touch for one I definitely would (well: assuming they finally update the Adobe SDK to support hyphenation and B&N DRM, which I think they've held off on mostly for performance rather than business concerns).

    As it is I'll probably wind up rooting it for fun and amusement. I've kind of given up that B&N will come out with a meaningful software update, it's probably 'all hands to Nook Color 2' right now over there, they never did fix Nook Color 1 to do multi-level TOC or fix text selection issues (my main gripes with Touch). The text formatting options are a little weird as well: some books 'like' Publisher Defaults, some 'hate' them, but it is a global setting and you have to keep switching it back and forth to have each book at its best (the dark side of ePub reveals itself). They keep sending unsolicited book samples when I let my guard down and turn on the wireless, you can't actually delete samples from your account without going to B&N web site, and most annoyingly you can't delete sideloaded content without hooking up USB. It 'coulda been a contender', and there is much I like about it (the fonts still don't bother me ), but nothing particularly endearing.

  2. The NookColor 1 Edition 2 did a different partitioning of the drive to give applications more room AND to HIDE Nook books from any file manager. An owner can't see them or manipulate them. Why? Their DRM is based on credit card number and you can give that to good friends with a copied Nook file. The file will work on ANY like-device if the person has that credit card number. (And they do expire.)

    I did root my Entourage Pocket Edge ($79 at Woot!) and used the 2.2.1 upgrade also ('Ermine') and it's very sweet -- the ability to see things on e-paper screen and then move some display functions across to the LCD screen AND 'write' with a stylus on the e-paper version is pretty nice.

    The stylus helps so much that I'm going to try it with my unpredictable NookColor keyboard which activates links when I've not even touched the keyboard.

  3. By the way, Tom, I wouldn't be surprised to see a software change on Kindles to have an option to Return library Kindle books earlier (so we don't have to go to manageyourkindle to do it and because it would make the librarian and Overdrive's life easier if people returned borrowed books earlier )

  4. has anyone had trouble with the book actually being delivered to their kindle? or does it just take awhile and i should be patient? i requested the delivery using this method about 15 minutes ago and it hasn't reached my kindle yet. i checked to be sure and it is not able to be delivered to my kindle again as it was already marked as delivered. tips?

  5. Allow me to deliver my little Adobe DRM discourse by way of illumination:

    The Nook 'hidden partition' (and any encryption they apply to the content within it) allows B&N to avoid paying Adobe DRM transaction fees for any ebooks downloaded wirelessly. No Adobe DRM is applied to that content. Kobo reading systems (and Google apps) do something similar for content downloaded wirelessly: they encrypt it, but again it is not in the form of a 'portable' ePub file with Adobe DRM applied.

    If you download an .ePub file from your B&N account, then it goes through Adobe Content Server, and Adobe gets paid for each application of the DRM. As you note, the so called 'B&N' flavor of DRM is more sharable and convenient, since it doesn't require 'authorization' of a reading system to a specific Adobe account, or the need for Adobe Digital Editions to serve as proxy for said authorization. Any Adobe RMSDK-powered reading system (including Pocket Edge BTW) can open it if you supply the credit card information that was used to generate a hash to encrypt the content. I haven't actually bought much ePub content, but if I were to do so, I'd buy it from B&N. (Note that the credit card information cannot be derived from the ebook itself, as it is not stored in there in any form.)

    Any ebook vendor that is a licensee of ACS is free to use 'B&N' DRM (at no additional charge), and I wonder why they do not, given the not inconsiderable convenience it would confer to their customers. It was introduced nearly 2 years ago, and virtually all ereaders shipped since then support it (except for Sony & maybe the original Kobo reader), as well as the 'classic' DRM flavor (when 'authorized' with an Adobe ID).


    Glad you're enjoying your EPE (and got such a good deal!). Mine fell into disuse when I got my Nook Touch, and developed a Syndrome that made it unpleasant to use (the Home key stopped working properly and it would no longer Hibernate). Finally brought it back to health last weekend (restoring Froyo and then Ermine), so it is back on my e-Bookshelf. (There was a wonderful New Yorker cartoon recently, where you see a mansion library with a massive bookcase containing only 3 booklike objects. One guy says to the other says "Kindle, Nook, and Sony. I say, that's quite a library you've got there!").

    Yeah, I think tablets do benefit from a stylus.

  6. Andrys, thanks for Update 3 about moving the loaned book from your computer to Kindle via USB. What I wonder is if two Kindles on 1 account (say, his and hers) can both read the same book by copying it via USB. We don't sync our Kindles to avoid being burdened with each other's notes or highlights. -Robert

  7. Tom,
    Thanks for all that.
    One thing - I thought I read that the B&N credit card # is encrypted AND IN a field which is matched against when you enter the password credit card number on a DRM'd file not opened yet on your device. The 3rd party plugin for Calibre ('Alf') deals with that section from it.

    I also read that this DRM method is done in cooperation with Adobe's ADE and is now a newly available DRM method that until now was unique to BN since they created the method and that Adobe has licensed this for use on other devices if a license for that particular method is requested and purchased.

    Even if the number is heavily encrypted, people are wary of having to use a cc number, for fear others will get a hold of the number (which would be extremely difficult) or that they'd forget which credit card number they used (but the DRM use of that number doesn't expire when the CC does).

    Re the new partition, if you can't see the Nook files with file managers, you can't copy/transfer the book files. That gets around people not being worried to give friends an expired cc number.

    I really don't like their insisting we can't see our own purchased Nook files with a file manager. I find that far worse than Amazon's method.

    On the Pocket Edge -- I'm amazed at FREEdi app which displays HD movies at Youtube with no trouble (except that at times, on slower connections, you can see the segments of the image not quite joining smoothly). The image fills the screen and is normally quite smooth. It's not the 1024x600 resolution of the NookColor though.

    Also Desktop Browser, which shows you full (not mobile-optimized) pages with fast loading and very well formatted pages too. But that one doesn't like to show youtube, so I'm alternating between them.

    If you play music and want to hear and see the elements of basic music theory on a keyboard, that free Piano Assistant app is just great !

    Yes, saw that NYorker cartoon. It's the great fear of those who feel e-books will totally replace paper books (but not even in my place -- i still see them as co-existing).

  8. Anonymous,
    Two Kindles on 1 account can both read the same book without your needing to do anything. No need to buy another ocpy of the book - it's shareable between devices on one account.

    Never does a copy of one book to another's device work. But BOTH of you will see the book title in your own Kindles, in the Archived Items folder if it's not currently a book ON your Kindle.

    When you click on one of your 'archived' books purchased from Amazon (books you bought but which are not on your Kindle currently), that'll download the book from Amazon to either or both devices, depending on whether either of you requests that or not.

    The other method is to go, on your computer's web browser, to and send a book from the acount's library to either one of you.

  9. Anonymous at 9:46:00 PDT,
    When you check out, you're taken to Amazon who then asks where you want the file sent.

    When you requested delivery were you still at Overdrive where they ask which device you want the file for? Or are you actually at Amazon.

    Some have had troube while still AT the library part, before completing the checkout and being sent to Amazon.

    However, once you get to Amazon, you can't have it delivered by 3G wireless -- only by WiFi wireless or via a USB cable transfer to your Kindle...

    Hard to know which situation is yours though.

  10. I was at Overdrive, and chose the download to computer option. Overdrive then sent me to Amazon, where I was then asked again, which device to download to or select the option to download to computer. I chose to download to computer, then Amazon took me to yet another page and made me choose a device before downloading to computer. Once downloaded, I copied the file (via USB) to my device and it worked fine. I then copied to my spouse's device via USB, but when she opened the book it said (essentially, I'm paraphrasing here) the loaned book could only be read on one device. So THEN I went to "Manage My Kindle" and sent it to her device that way, it worked, and she's able to read the same library loaner as I on a different device.

    A bit of a work-around, but at least it works!


  11. As I said, if you want a portable ePub file, you need to download it from your account page on the B&N website. That's your backup option. Kobo (and the Google readers for Android & iOS) is effectively the same, even though they don't hide the content files. They are there for any file manager to see, but you can't do anything with those files, there's no point in backing them up, and you can't run the Alf thing on them.

    Everything in the visible partition, by definition, is yours. You can easily make backups of anything that is there, and at least anything with .epub or .pdf extension is readable on any RMSDK-powered system (if protected with Adobe DRM) or any epub or pdf reading system (if not protected by DRM.

    I don't see how Kindle DRM is any better. Short of removing DRM, there's no option to read the content on a non Kindle reading system and so a backup is only useful in recovering faster should you need to restore system defaults on the same Kindle. You can't take that backup and restore to any other Kindle, and if you just want to backup your own content (and move it to a different Kindle) you cannot in general easily identify which files are yours and which are DRMed files from Amazon.

    It cannot be accurate that the credit card can be discovered in the DRMed ePub filie. That would be a very lame design, and if someone proved they could do it, I think we would know by now.

    But if you know the strings that generated the hash/key (because it is your own credit card, for example), and you have reverse-engineered the hash algorithm (running the reader software in a debugger etc), then you can derive the key to unencrypt. Deriving the unlock key is probably more straightforward than that, and may well be the same technique used for 'classic' Adobe DRM. But having the unlock key will not give you a credit card number, it is a one way hash and mathematically very secure (at least until serviceable quantum computers arrive...).

  12. I tried delivering the library .azw via to my wife's (3G only) K2, and Amazon refused to deliver it. Got an email saying they won't deliver 'encrypted content'. I thought I'd done this before over wifi, but not sure about this now.

    We also tried pulling it down to the K2 from Archived Items (where it was listed). Got some very strange error. I'll try to capture screen images & post on mobileread or something.

    The last resort would be something like Dropbox, assuming K2 browser can handle that. Haven't had a chance to try that yet.

    It must be a contractual thing with the 3G providers?

  13. Tom, re accepting a Kindle DRM'd book over the servers as a personal document delivery, they'd not want to have to check the DRM field against the person emailing it. It would be an easy way for people to 'share' Kindle books without that check.

    I think it's just that there is no real revenue from library books - it'll already be a loss leader, and paying for the 3G deliver of it probably can't be justified to stockholders

  14. Robert,
    Congratulations on getting it. That's not a workaround. That's how it's designed to work. At manageyourkindle, after you've chosen which device gets it from your computer, Amazon puts a specific key into the file which is for the one computer and identified with it.

    So you did exactly the right thing! :-)


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