December 2011

Many people will be buying or receiving e-Book readers this holiday season.  Did you know that the Library has downloadable eBooks you can borrow for free?  Your Alameda County Library currently supplies digital media from Overdrive, EBSCO, and other providers as well as links to sites offering free access to eBooks.  These eBooks are downloadable to Nook, Kindle, iPads, tablets and many other e-Readers.  

You can get started by going to the eBooks guide   to peruse the various eBook offerings provided by the library. 

Your initial startup depends on which e-Reader device you own.

 With the exception of Kindle, you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions  e-Reading software so the e-Book can display on your device.  Look for software downloads in the eBook provider’s help section for this free software.

 Download Adobe Digital Editions and authorize it.  Overdrive users will also want to download Overdrive Media Console for its easy-to-use interface. 

 Check out your book and download it to your computer.   You may have a choice of 7-, 14-, or 21-day checkout periods.  

 The last step is to transfer the eBook from your computer to your device.  Note that if your device has an Internet connection, you can download the book directly to your e-Reader.

Need help deciding which e-Reader device to buy?  The December 2011 issue of  Consumer Reports reviews electronic book (e-book) reading devices including the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader, the Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G, and the Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1.

 Accessing free e-Books through the library does require some initial setup procedures, but once you have mastered those, it is easy and convenient.  Note that some titles do have waiting lists, so do not hesitate to get on a list.  The e-Book content offered by the library is constantly improving, as we add products and enlarge the collections of existing products.   If you need assistance, just click on the Ask Us! link on the library’s home page.

On Monday, December 5th, ABC KGO-TV in San Francisco interviewed spokesperson Marion Oldenhage at Castro Valley Library about the Food for Fines program at your Alameda County Libraries.   KGO-TV reporter Lyanne Melendez also wrote an article on the television station’s website about this program:

 The Food for Fines program runs from December 17th through December 31st, 2011.    Under this program:  

For each food item brought to the Library—$1.00 will be subtracted from overdue fines—up to a maximum of $10.

 Only non-perishable, unexpired, store-sealed items will be accepted. 

All food brought to the Library will be donated to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. 

The Alameda County Community Food Bank serves 49,000 people each week—from Berkeley to Fremont, Oakland to Livermore.  With demand for emergency food at all-time high, your support is needed to ensure our neighbors have the food they need this holiday season. 

 If you do not have fines to pay, you can also contribute to the Alameda County Community Food Bank by putting non-perishable, unexpired, store-sealed items directly into barrels in the library through January 31, 2012, or contributing to the Virtual Food Drive through January 31, 2012.    The online website for the Virtual Food Drive is: