Thursday, September 23, 2010

eBook Devices Cheat Sheet

What’s one of the most common questions I’ve received recently from OverDrive library partners regarding eBooks?
Is the Kindle compatible with the Adobe EPUB and PDF eBooks my library offers?

The answer to that question is still, unfortunately, no.  This always leads to the follow-up question:
Why isn’t the Kindle compatible?

The short answer is that the Kindle does not currently support the Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection our publishers and suppliers require for Adobe EPUB and PDF eBooks offered through the OverDrive service.  If you are interested in a clear and thorough explanation, take a look at Jason Griffey’s popular blog entry ‘eBooks, filetype, and DRM’.  It’s a lengthy post, but a great read if you want to know the technical side of the answer.

So, let’s focus on what devices are compatible with Adobe EPUB and PDF eBooks offered through your ‘Virtual Branch’ website.  For the most up-to-date list, always direct your patrons to the OverDrive Device Resource Center.
We have also heard it’s often difficult to direct a patron to the appropriate webpage when at the circulation or information desk. In addition to the continually updated Device Resource Center online, we have put together an eBook Devices Cheat Sheet (PDF) that you can print out and make available to staff inside your library. This handy reference tool will empower any library staff member to provide patrons with information on compatible eBook readers.

The Cheat Sheet outlines the Barnes & Noble nook, the Sony Reader, and the Kobo eReader.  Keep in mind, it isn’t necessary to own or use an eBook reading device to enjoy eBooks.  As we’ve listed on the Cheat Sheet, you can use your Windows PC or Mac computer or laptop with Adobe Digital Editions installed.

With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, you will undoubtedly receive an increased number of questions about eBooks and eBook reading devices.  Feel free to use the eBook Devices Cheat Sheet as a reference tool to assist in answering eBook device related questions. As new devices are tested, we’ll update the sheet and let you know when an updated version is available.
Megan Greer is a partner services associate for OverDrive.

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