E Reading and the Library

I use my work library system (Minuteman Library Network) far more than my public library. I'm there two to three times a week, and I am always trying to educate the students how to use the the system, so it's best that I be as familiar as possible with it.

Now that I have an iPhone (as opposed to an older Droid or even older borrowed krackd krazr once I refrigerated the Droid for an entire day...) I am trying to learn how to use the Minuteman Digital Media. It's very complicated.

First you have to log on to your library account on the MinMan digital page. Then you search for what you're looking for. I don't know if it's just today but I kept getting an error message and having to reload the page. As far as I can tell, there's no easily visible way to browse what's available now. There's multiple formats that you can access: kindle, eBook, OverDrive for audio books.

Sometimes a book is available on Kindle, but you have to download it then load it onto your Kindle app with a USB. Sometimes, you can just access it by sending it to your cloud. First you have to see if it's available. If it is, you add it to your cart, then proceed to check it out. Then you click "get for kindle" in MinMan. It send it to your Amazon account. Then you go to your Amazon Account and log in. After your login, it should take you to the "Your Public Library Loan" page, then you click the "Get your loan" link on the right hand side. Your book should upload to you Kindle cloud and then you can open it on your Kindle device. But that's a silly amount of steps and I'm not too fond of the process.

So far, I was able to find only a few titles of interest in electronic form. I have checked out "The 50s Kitchen" which is a history of the transformation the kitchen undertook in the 50s and American Rose: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee. The first book is looking to be one of those books better suited for traditional book format where you can see illustrations and quotations and flip back and forth better. The other, being straight prose, should work fine on a small hand held.

I have read many free books from Google books on my old Droid. I find it the best format for when you're traveling. I don't mind fiction or straight prose in e-format. Poetry, guidebooks, illustrated books are all, for me, better suited in flip-able format as with traditional paper books.

I think since it's still a fairly new phenomenon, the system with which to browse, check out and access e-books from the library still needs work. But at least it's available and there's still ways to borrow and lend books for free, which is what's so special about public libraries in their essence!

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