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How to Use Kindle For Public Libraries

I was like you too, until I solved my problem.

The answer was a Kindle.

“But I love my library!” you protest.  E-readers are not the end of libraries as we know it (I know, I’ve worked at one for over 13 years). My husband disagrees (“yes it is!”) but I think I can distract him long enough to finish this article…

Right, back.  E-book readers are perfect for the busy woman on the go.  They’re extremely portable, customizable in your favorite color (mine’s purple), and they can double as an audiobook device if you need it.  So whether you’re driving and want to listen to your favorite novel, or sitting in a waiting room or a transit stop, you have full access to your entire library.

Last November I finally decided on a Kindle DX.  You can read all about that on my previous article here. Unfortunately, it was not until this October, that my dreams of free library books on my Kindle was realized.

I’m going to make another venture that if you’re anything like me, money is probably not as free-flowing as you’d like right now.  Who can afford a 9.99 e-book?  I can’t either. When you purchase a Kindle you’ve got an entire resource library available to you. (No, I’m not being paid by anyone to advertise for, but I do love their product).  Make sure to check out the end of the article for some related links.

Additionally, there are now e-books available at libraries.  Overdrive is making it possible for over 11,000 libraries nationwide to have access to audiobooks, e-pub books, and other e-book formats for their patrons.

No woman should be inhibited from reading her favorite novel due to “not enough room”.  If your dream is to take advantage of free reading material with a Kindle, I can show you what I’ve learned, walk you through the steps.

First off, you want to make sure your library offers Overdrive.  Contact your local library’s reference or technology librarian to verify this.  Secondly, I’m making the assumption that you already own a Kindle and have an Amazon account.  If not, registering for an Amazon account is free to sign up. Bookmark this article, click on the link, and then come back here later.  Okay, got your account all done?  Great!  Let’s move on…

You will need internet access with a wi-fi connection, a personal computer (or laptop) and your Kindle. Ten steps or less, here we go!

  1. Launch your library’s home page.
  2. From the home page, you want to browse through the links and locate where the Overdrive software is.  It might be labelled “Downloads” “Ebooks” or “eMedia” as a couple of examples.
  3. When you click on that link, usually it’ll launch a browsing page with Overdrive’s titles.  You’ll see book covers, book summaries, and usually a formats section.  If you find a title you like, make sure it has the appropriate format tag (Kindle) for Kindle users, then click “add to cart”.  I’ve seen other libraries slightly change this link to “add to bookbag” or some other cute phrases.  You get the idea?
  4. When you go through the checkout process, the page for me re-directs me to the site to “Manage Your Kindle”.  If you’re not logged in, login.  If you are, you should see the titles in your list of digital media with a orangeish tag “Public Library”.
  5. On the right-hand button is a button, “Actions”.
  6. From this drop-down menu, you can choose to “Deliver to my…” (Kindle for PC, Kindle for Mac, your personal Kindle, etc).  You can also transfer it via USB.
  7. I have a wi-fi connection at home so as long as you turn on the wi-fi option on your Kindle, you should be able to “Sync for new items” and it’ll pop up on the main menu.
  8. Each library is different about the lending period.  The title should automatically be deleted from your Kindle (or be otherwise inaccessible) after the loan period.
  9. You can check the title in early from the “Manage Your Kindle” page by clicking on “Actions”, then, “Return this book”.  If you don’t like the title you checked out and want it permanently removed from your browsing history, you can “Delete from library”.
  10. You’re ready to read!

Please check out the links below for some other free titles available from These links are a little hard to find on the website but there’s a lot of great, free stuff available online too.  I’ve amassed around 250 books for my Kindle over 1 year and a good 90% of them were free from limited offers and popular classics.

If you do choose to purchase a book, 0.99 is less than a McDonald’s sandwich.  Allow yourself the freedom to try something new.  You never know if there’ll be a great new author you’ll discover.  Happy reading!

Keep reaching higher,
Lauren Miller

Related links:

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Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at

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