As usual I owe a debt of gratitude to LM_NET for all their help with this information.
I’ve been researching the whole ereader thing for awhile now. I really needed to find out if ereaders could access the Follett ebooks our library already owns. Turns out that if they have a usable browser, it IS possible.
It appears that the Nook and of course the iPad work quite well with the Follett ebooks, as long as they are connected to the internet. I tried to access my Follett eBooks via the Kindle browser, but got an error message when I clicked on the links.
I needed this input to finish a report for our district. They are considering the purchase of ereaders and/or ipads. No one has asked for my opinion, but that has never stopped me before. So… I sent them this report to help with their decision. I decided to post it here also in case anyone could make use of it.
I know that the district has been talking about ebooks/ereaders. I am doing some research on the issues involved in a school/school library setting. Here is what I have found out so far:
ISSUES TO CONSIDER:
- The high school library currently owns about 20 ebooks from Follett (our book supplier). They cannot be downloaded, but they CAN be viewed on a browser. They are all research books at this point. My plan for the high school library has been to phase out the purchase of non-fiction print books in favor of the Follett ebooks.
- The public library provides a service called Overdrive. With a library card and a pin number, it is very easy to download ebooks and audioboooks for free. They are then available for reading for 21 days. They can also be placed on hold and renewed, just like print books. Here is the post I sent out to our staff offering this as a training option:
Kindle/Nook/iPad costing you money?
- Overdrive is a service to consider for our school libraries in the future. I have no idea of the cost right now. It would be beneficial, because we could build a collection tailored for our student needs.
- If we go to ereaders, we need to deal with replacement costs if the readers are damaged when they are loaned to students. If we purchase only research ebooks, then ipads and dedicated ereaders would probably be fine for in-school only usage. If we purchase fiction, that is a different story. We would have to be willing to loan the readers.
Kindle: Works only with Amazon ebooks. Does NOT work with either Overdrive books from the public library or the Follett ebooks that the hs library already owns.
NOOK: Works with Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Overdrive, and Follett. Color or black and white model available. ($249 or $149 at the Barnes & Noble website)
iPad: Gotta love them. They not only work very well with all the formats, but also have so many other uses. The downside is the cost.
Sony eReader: I have not investigated this one as yet.
Borders eReader: Much less expensive, but the company is in trouble. Not sure if it handles ebooks in other formats such as Follett, Overdrive etc.
iPads and NOOKs are the best choice because they handle a wide variety of formats, including the formats that are already available in the high school library. I would suggest that for students, iPads be used in school only. The NOOKs are cheaper and could be purchased for use both in school and at home.