A Beginner's Guide to Enabling e-reading in your Library
Article copyright D. Price-Ewen (2011 - last updated July 2012) - NZeRT training material.

Even if you have a limited library budget, there are a few things you can do now to enable e-books and e-book reading in your library:

1. Download e-reading software onto your PC
You can download e-reading software to any one of your library's computers (here are a few reliable ones you could try):
Adobe Digital Editions (this one is great for reading your Project Gutenberg books)
2. Purchase an e-reading device or tablet
If you want to try before you buy, Don Hill from New Zealand's owned and operated D-Shop will very generously let libraries try his range of dedicated e-readers and tablets. A lot of the big-brand stores, like Amazon and Kobo, also have very reasonably priced and reliable dedicated e-readers. Prices and products are changing all the time, however, so we recommend taking a look at the NZ PriceMe site to compare products and prices. You could also ask your public library if they will have a "petting zoo" of e-readers (see our Forum Discussion (Feb 2011). It is a very good idea to familiarise yourself with a couple of e-readers so that you know at least a little bit about the technology before you get more serious about promoting e-reading.

Dedicated e-readers are very good for:
- fiction
- best-sellers
- traditional text

Tablets are great for:
- Interactive fiction and non-fiction
- PDFs
- Manga
- Comics
3. Download an e-book onto your PC, e-reader or tablet
A great range of free e-books can be found at numerous vendor sites (including here in NZ) - take a look at our vendor's page to see a few of them. Here are a couple you could try now:


Just follow the instructions on the vendor page and you'll be reading your first e-book in next to no time!
4. Promotion
Promoting e-books on your catalogue is a great way to introduce e-books to patrons. You can do a couple of things for free with your exisiting automated library system (whichever one that may be). Try adding a link to a specific Project Gutenberg book or any book from the free e-book vendors' list above. You could also add a notation alerting your patrons to the existence of any e-books or, indeed, any e-readers with pre-loaded books that you have in your library.

As you start to get more serious about promoting e-reading and e-readers in your library, you may want to think about the following:

There's no doubt that e-readers are a high risk theft item; tablets even more so. Add to that the bundles of e-books you have on those devices and we're talking a reasonable amount of value. Tethering your device is one way to secure it in your library. Take a look at http://www.leadingsolutions.co.nz/ for a range of security tethers.
6. Library Download Packages
An expensive option but worth considering if you want to make lending e-books a breeze for library patrons. The major advantage of these packages (see our Download Libraries page for a list of vendors) is the ability to issue e-books onto your customer's e-reading devices.