Get e-books from your local library

Take last Christmas’s flood of eBook readers, add on to that the closing of Border’s Books & Music, Kaua‘i’s main bookstore, and what do you get? If you’re a savvy citizen, you’ll get a library card!  

Hawai‘i library cards are free, by the way, for all Hawai‘i residents. The king of cards, your Hawai‘i State Public Library System (HSPLS) library card gives you access to an astonishing array of resources, even if you’re not counting regular book borrowing.

Check out the HSPLS website,, for information about downloading audiobooks, eBooks, and more for your computer, cell phone, iPod or eBook reader.

In order to borrow eMaterials you need an Internet connection through a PC or Mac computer or mobile device. You need a valid HSPLS library card and PIN number. And you need to download OverDrive Media Console–free software that manages borrowing, downloading, displaying and returning library eMaterials.

It’s easy. Just browse the new selections on the Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s website, or search by title, subject, author or format. Add your selections to your “cart.” If a title is not available (already being borrowed), you may place a hold on it; and you’ll receive email notification when the title is available.

Proceed to check out the titles you want using your valid library card number and your PIN number, then download each item to your computer or mobile device.

One of the great features of borrowing eMaterials from your public library is that titles are automatically “returned,” or removed from your devices at the end of the borrowing period, which means no more late fees. Plus the eBook library is open 24/7.

After downloading items to your computer, most titles can be transferred to a mobile device such as an iPod or Sony Reader. Many audio titles can also be burned to CD so you can enjoy them using a CD player.

You can borrow up to 10 items at one time and if you finish with items before the due date you can “return” items before the due date so that you can borrow more.

Want to check if your reading device will download free eBooks or audio books borrowed from your eLibrary? Just follow the link to Overdrive’s extensive list of all devices and editions of devices to see what formats the device is or is not compatible with. . Amazon Book Store’s popular eReader, the Kindle, does not currently allow library borrowing, but Amazon recently announced that they will change this policy in the near future. After all, public libraries are a pillar of our democracy, committed to fostering an informed public and dedicated to keeping the cost of materials from being a hindrance to information access.

Perhaps the best resource at your neighborhood library is your librarian who is anxious to help you connect with the information or materials you are seeking. Go ahead and ask your librarian, and test out the ePower of your nifty library card.

Happy Reading!

• Carolyn Larson, head Librarian at Lihu‘e Public Library, bringing you the buzz on new, popular and good books available at your neighborhood library. Book annotations are culled from online publishers’ descriptions and published reviews.


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