The New York Public Library has announced that it is now offering ebooks to patrons. New York Public Library cardholders will have access to more than 3,000 fiction and nonfiction eBooks including titles like Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, James Patterson's The Big, Bad, Wolf, and Cliffs Notes. eBooks are available for free Internet download through the Library's new site: ebooks.nypl.org. eBooks have been licensed through OverDrive, Inc. a Cleveland company that specializes in managing distribution of digitized content using DRM technology to publishers, retailers, and libraries.
eBook are browsable via three main subject categories: fiction, non-fiction, and collections. In the fiction category, users can browse subject categories like mystery, romance, science fiction & fantasy, suspense & thriller, classics, and more. Under non-fiction, users can browse through study aids & reference, careers & employment, biography & autobiography, business & investing, travel, and more. Children's and young adult books, computer books, and Cliffs Notes titles can be searched under the collections category. Users click on the image of the jacket cover art from the printed version of the book to view a full description of the book and a brief author biography.
eBooks can be borrowed by browsing the selection of titles, marking titles wanted, and keying in Library Card and PIN numbers to complete the circulation transaction. Selected titles will then be downloaded to a patron's PC where they can be copied onto a hand held PDA. eBooks can be read using Adobe Reader 6.0 or Mobipocket Reader 4.7 software. Users whose PDAs are not equipped with this software may download it onto their devices directly from the Library's eBook catalog site at no cost. Some eBook titles can be displayed on PCs and PDAs in large print and many titles in the Adobe Reader format offer a voice synthesis "Read Aloud" feature.
Up to ten eBooks may be borrowed for a period of up to 21 days each. Users may place holds on titles that are not available when all copies are in circulation. An email notification will be sent when the eBook becomes available. eBooks do not need to be returned; at the end of each loan period, access to eBooks will expire and they will be automatically checked-in and made available for other users.