Author Archive

Penguin Joins List of Publishers Withholding eBooks from Libraries

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

As of February 10, 2012, Penguin Group USA will no longer sell eBooks or eAudiobooks to libraries through OverDrive. This announcement came after a series of meetings the American Library Association held with several major publishers regarding library eBook lending. On Thursday, February 9, OverDrive customers, including KDL, received this message,

“… Penguin will no longer offer additional copies of eBooks and download audiobooks for library purchase. Additionally, Penguin eBooks loaned for reading on Kindle devices will need to be downloaded to a computer then transferred to the device over USB. For library patrons, this means Penguin eBooks will no longer be available for over-the-air delivery to Kindle devices or to Kindle apps.”

Penguin titles already purchased for KDL’s Digital Collection, including the bestseller The Help, will continue to be available. However, KDL will not be able to purchase any new Penguin titles in digital formats, and existing Penguin eBooks can now only be transferred to Kindle devices via a USB cable (and cannot be sent to Kindle apps at all.)

In 2011, KDL circulated over 113,000 eBooks, a 192% increase in digital content usage over 2010.  The explosion in demand of these materials drove KDL to partner with OverDrive last fall, creating a digital collection specifically for KDL cardholders. Our Collection Development staff work diligently to stock our digital shelves, but publishers are making it more difficult to provide all of the content people want to read or listen to.

With this decision, Penguin joins the list of publishers who will not sell eBooks to libraries, along with Macmillan Publishing, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Brilliance Audio. Additionally, HarperCollins Publishers will sell eBooks for libraries to circulate, but they limit the availability of their titles to only 26 circulations before a “replacement” copy must be purchased.

If you wish to write to or call each publisher to convey your opinion, here is their contact information:

Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 366-2000

Macmillan Publishing
75 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-7521

Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 698-7000

Hachette Book Group
466 Lexington Avenue #131
New York, NY 10017
(212) 364-1100

Brilliance Audio
1704 Eaton Drive
Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 846-5256

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KDL Closed Monday, January 16

Friday, January 13th, 2012

All branches of the Kent District Library will be closed on Monday, January 16 for the annual professional development event we call All-Staff.  While we regret any temporary inconvenience this may cause, KDL’s commitment to staff training is one of the reasons we are able to provide you with such great service.  

This is the one day out of the year that our entire KDL workforce comes together for a day of Learning, Fun, and Recognition of KDL’s Exceptional Staff.  Topics staff will be exploring include:

  • Embracing a new model of classification and labeling to improve service
  • Developing cost-effective programming through community partnerships
  • Updating early literacy efforts to incorporate new research on child development
  • Using mobile devices for more efficient information assistance 
  • How we stay on top of the newest, best, and hottest books, movies, and music to recommend to you

Please remember that our “19th Branch” is always open online, with the greatest selection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, and downloadable music in the State, and visit us at any of our 18 branch locations, just not on January 16!


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When Love Meets “The Society”

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

I just finished listening to the CD audiobook of Matched by Ally Condie, and I find myself enchanted by this delicate love story and simultaneously haunted by the doom it spells for two lovely young people.  

In a near-distant future The Society rules every aspect of life, from one’s occupation to clothing and mate selection. Always obedient, Cassia is delighted to find herself matched to her best friend Xander. But a techno glitch also gives her a glimpse of Ky Markham as her future match. That this spark of fascination becomes a budding romance isn’t a surprise. But their tender love, blooming despite the oppressive atmosphere of an authoritarian regime which is clearly trying to tighten its grip, renders the story unfortgettably suspenseful.  

Narrator Kate Simses is perfectly pitched as Cassia — quiet and subtle, but gradually stronger and more self-assured as she learns not to question her own feelings, but to question why things are as they are.

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Exciting, Adventurous Family Listening

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1I just finished listening to the seventh book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and I love every one of them.  The audios are brilliantly narrated by John Keating.  Embark on these great adventures with The Ruins of Gorlan, Ranger’s Apprentice Book 1. 

In a vaguely medieval England-ish land, youths are assigned their occupation at a ceremony on Choosing Day.  His hopes dashed when he is rejected by Battleschool, the diminutive fifteen-year-old Will becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious (and spookily reserved) Ranger named Halt. 

Unlike many modern fantasy authors, Flanagan concentrates more on his characters than whatever whack-a-doo creatures he can conjure up.  Will is one of the most endearing, gracious, delightful young characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  (Nearly as sweet as Taran, the Pig Keeper, from The Black Cauldron.)  But don’t tell the kids that!  Concentrate on all the cool outdoor skills he must master — ArcheryKnife throwing! — and the heart-pounding suspense when he musters up the courage to employ them in the face of grave danger!

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KDL’s eBooks Unmatched by Amazon

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

There’s hubbub afloat on the web regarding Amazon’s new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.  Exciting news for all those folks who’ve been paying top dollar for Kindle editions?  Maybe.  Despite claiming they offer “thousands of books to borrow for free,” Amazon remains “dot com.”  Don’t confuse the “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library” with the unparalleled access and selection of eBooks provided to Kent District Library cardholders for free.

KDL’s eBook Collection can be checked out and enjoyed on any eReader device, including apps for Apple or Android tablets.  KDL eBooks can even be read on a Kindle.  Cardholders can check out up to 10 eBooks at a time and may replenish their selection as fast as they can read with no monthly limit.   While KDL’s digital collection is limited to resident cardholders, the cost is $0

Amazon’s version of a library requires folks to first, buy a Kindle, and second, to subscribe to Amazon Prime at a cost of $79/year.  Customers who achieve this level of consumer commitment to are then entitled to borrow one eBook at a time, once a month.  Folks who enjoy the Kindle app for Apple or Android devices are not allowed to participate in this service.    

Amazon’s Kindle owners lending library is great for those Amazon Prime subscribers who already own a Kindle.  Savvy eBook folks are wise to select an eReader device they like and then enjoy the advantages of exceptional selection, flexibility, access and unmatched value of their public library’s digital collection, such as can be found at

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