Take Part in the Big Library Read May 15 – June 1

An unprecedented event starts today, May 15, as libraries around the world read the same Michael Maloneebook through a program called Big Library Read. Library card holders can access a digital copy of Michael Malone’s The Four Corners of the Sky for free via OverDrive between May 15 and June 1.

When libraries purchase ebooks it is no different than purchasing a traditional book. One copy can be checked out to one person at a time. The library may purchase additional copies to keep up with the demand for a particular book, but something called Digital Rights Managment (DRM) prevents the library from lending an ebook any differently than a traditional one.

During the Big Library Read, however, OverDrive is offering Malone’s ebook for free to participating libraries and anyone can download the ebook during that time period with a valid library card.

The Four Corners of the Sky is master storyteller Michael Malone’s novel of love, secrets, and the mysterious bonds of families. Malone brings characters to life as only he can, exploring the questions that defy easy answers: Is love a choice or a calling? Why do the ties of family bind so tightly? And is forgiveness a gift to others…or a gift we give ourselves?

Click here to explore OverDrive and participate in Big Library Read.


Cedar Rapids Public Library Holds Free eReader Classes

If you are one of the many American’s who received an ereader or tablet computer as a gift downloadable books-ebooks 2during the holiday season, the Cedar Rapids Public Library is offering a series of classes to help you get started on downloading ebooks from the library.

“Learning to use a new device can be difficult for many of us,” said Amber Mussman, Public Information Officer at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. “Our library offers classes on how to download library ebooks onto Kindles, Nooks and iPads.”

Classes are offered a variety of days and times:

Library eBooks for Kindle:

December 31 at 1:00 pm

January 5 at 9:00 am

Library eBooks for iPad:

December 31 at 2:30 pm

January 2 at 7:30 pm

January 3 at 9:00 am

January 7 at 3:30 pm

Library eBooks for Nook:

January 2 at 6:00 pm

January 3 at 10:30 am

January 8 at 1:00 pm

The Metro Library Network (Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion Public Libraries) share a collection of ebooks and downloadable audiobooks which are available to library card holders at no charge through a program called OverDrive. The collection grows regularly as more content becomes available to libraries.

The Library’s OverDrive program for ebooks is available for use on a variety of other devices, including:

  • Kobo eReader
  • Liberati eReader
  • Pandigital Novel
  • PocketBook Pro 602
  • Skytex Primer
  • Sony Reader
  • And others

Find a complete list of supported devices here: http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/Default.aspx?type=ebook.

Library staff is available to answer questions and assist with ebooks and ereaders. Visit our locations or call (319) 398-5123 for assistance, or check our website (www.crlibrary.org) for tutorials.

America’s Facebook Generation is Reading Strong

Image from Huffington Post 8.15.12

If you’re in-between the ages of 18 – 34 there’s a 50/50 chance you checked Facebook this morning immediately after waking up. That and many other statistics at Digital Buzz make me wonder if people in their 20s read books anymore. I know I do, but I’m a librarian. It’s part of my job description. Luckily NPR has statistics, from a report done by Pew Research Center, that say the Facebook generation is still reading strong (yay!).

In a nutshell, “We found that about 8 in 10 Americans under the age of 30 have read a book in the past year. And that’s compared to about 7 in 10 adults in general, American adults. So, they’re reading — they’re more likely to read, and they’re also a little more likely to be using their library.” Not only that, despite the rumors that print books will no longer exist in the future due to e-books, those 20-somethings who were polled do not want e-books to replace print books. There’s still hope for people in their 20s.

To read the full article or listen to the NPR interview click here.

Why aren’t there more ebooks?

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (Alabama) recently shared a special web page they designed to help answer questions they were receiving from the public regarding ebook availability. They did an excellent job of posting links to specific publishers who are unwilling to work with libraries as well as providing information on why libraries don’t have the same access as a regular person. Instead of copying what they’ve put together so successfully, we are simply posting the information here for you to read. (Or you can access it directly on the JCLC website) We wanted to share the content with you so you could understand the major hurdle that keeps the CRPL from providing you access to every ebook available.

Why aren’t there more eBooks?

Many Publishers Will Not sell or License E-Books to Libraries

A library, unlike a regular person, cannot purchase an eBook from Amazon or Barnes & Noble and then lend it out to another person. Libraries can buy a printed book from these companies, place it on the shelf, and lend it out. Digital content is treated differently by the publishers and the companies who manage digital content licensing.  

We want to offer as many eBooks as we can to our patrons; however, the publishers’ policies are preventing us from doing so. Please know that we are committed to advocating for a change to these restrictive policies. 

The following companies currently refuse to sell or license eBooks to libraries: 

Macmillan Publishing Simon & Schuster Penguin Group
Brilliance Audio Hachette Book Group  


We think that’s wrong.  If you do too, you can write or call each publisher to let them know what you think.  For your convenience, the addresses and a sample letter are provided here.

Just a few of the titles not available as library eBooks due to publisher restrictions:

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More information can be found on the JCLC website. We thank them for their advocacy on behalf of all public libraries and share their desire to provide access to our patrons. We will work to keep you informed as the dialogue continues with publishers and libraries.