Library Secrets: Renting ebooks

With the growing market of ebooks, libraries are including ebook rentals for their guests. With the perks of owning a library card, you can now rent books directly on any device.

I first learned of this when I was in my own library, looking for a novel that was severely difficult to find. I was searching their online database of books and found an option to rent it as an ebook.

I was already impressed with the fact that my library delivered books to my front door. Now in addition to the Orange County Library System delivering books that you can order online, they will deliver them straight to your ipad, kindle, computer, etc.

At first I wasn’t sure if this was a common thing for libraries to do, but it looks like Orange County isn’t the only library system to offer ebook rentals. Amazon even has an ask-page that explains renting ebooks with kindle. They have an awesome video explaining the rental, how it is just like in print book rentals, allotted to you for a period of time and then returned.

There seems to be some controversy over this particular form of renting, and just like with regular print rentals there seems to be a waiting list involved if it is a popular book. Here is some stats for this bit of information:

Click image for article

Do you think ebook rentals are worth it? Have you tried renting one? Will you rent one? What do you think this will mean for the future? There are many questions I still have regarding this delivery system, but so far I am impressed.

Sources and Interesting links:

The Digital Shift: 

Ebook from Orange County Library System: Harry Potter:

Interesting article about the controversy with ebook rentals:

CNN talks about ebook lending:

Fox News explains ebook renting:


5 thoughts on “Library Secrets: Renting ebooks

  1. rebekahjoy94 February 3, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    I think the ebook rental is a great idea for libraries. With more and more books coming out digitally and some magazines only publishing digitally, the use of the ebook rental system is a good choice. This allows the book to be checked out just like a hard copy onto the kindle. The same stipulations like waiting list are used with hard copy books, so this is a very analogous form of rental to the current digital age. This also eliminates the inconvenience of having to actually go to the library to check out and return books and the manpower of the library staff to sort through returned books. The ebook rental system is a great avenue for spreading public knowledge and should be well accepted by all.


    • jesslangone February 3, 2015 / 7:13 pm

      I like how you brought up the convenience factor, since that it what the digital age is offering. But is this a good thing? Now even to rent a library book you can be in your living room. What does this do to society and the stigma around going digital?


    • davinadhani February 4, 2015 / 9:13 pm

      I agree with your assertion that using ebook rental systems are a greater avenue for spreading public knowledge. However, I wonder how these methods affect copyright laws and distribution laws. As it is, authors struggle with protecting their work once it is published especially because information can be so easily disseminated through the Web these days. It pays to question how enabling people to read ebooks online for free will automatically impact author’s profits and if it will decrease or increase pirating crime. I suppose there is the argument that people can pirate any work online in any shape or form regardless of whether or not the library uses this system. There is also a completely different possibility. Maybe if libraries do use this kind of system, people will feel less of a need to pirate books.


      • jesslangone February 5, 2015 / 5:40 am

        I agree with you that there are a lot of questions to how it will effect the authors, but I think the system of renting ebooks is not dissimilar from that of renting regular books (meaning the library system had to acquire/purchase the ebook). I also don’t think enough people know about this system of renting to where that would become a major problem. Good insight!


  2. Allison Miehl February 6, 2015 / 1:58 am

    I just found out about this too! I think it’s great just because it adds another way of transmitting information. I found out about OCLS’s eBook renting service because I wanted to read a book but the branch near me didn’t have it and I didn’t have the money to go out and buy it. Personally, renting ebooks could never replace the process of going to the library and picking out a physical copy of the book for me- but I can’t say it’s the same for everyone. However, I do think it’s a great way to get books that you want to read and don’t want to wait for.


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