Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

We are Not on the Same e-Page

My mother reads more books than anyone I know. She is always reading something, and more often than not she has multiple books going. She legally possesses three library cards from three different libraries, and she actively uses each of them. For the past few years, my father had been talking about getting my mom an e-reader for Christmas, but I always told him that she doesn’t need one because she is at a library multiple times per week. This year (and it is unclear whether this was the result of a lack of other gift ideas or a concerted effort to put my mom at the forefront of book technology), he finally gave her a Nook.
For all the books that my mother reads, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her purchase one. That said, getting a Nook is not going to make her any less of a library user. I will be shocked if she purchases a book on her Nook – she is a library user through and through. Anyway, I was home last weekend and mom asked me to help her set up her Nook with Overdrive so she can borrow books from one of her three libraries. Pssh…piece of cake for a library student, right?
Well, not so much. This is not meant to be a knock on Overdrive or any type of e-reader, but boy was it complicated to get her Nook and Overdrive on the same page. (Or should I say “e-page”?) Working at a library, I’ve heard people say that configuring e-readers and Overdrive is not at all straightforward, but I wasn’t able to empathize until actually trying it myself. I know that libraries and publishers disagree about e-reader use in libraries, and perhaps the complexity of coordinating an e-reader with a library catalog has something to do with that. If this is publishers’ attempt to deter e-book use in libraries, neither I nor my mother will be discouraged, and nor should you. As library e-book use continues to increase, hopefully publishers will get the message. I look forward to the day that publishers and libraries finally get themselves on the same e-page.