Monday, 8 August 2011

Borrow eBooks from Cardiff Libraries!

Hi, eBook lending is live!

This is a very brief, rough and ready guide to the new eBooks for Wales service.

The eBooks for Wales service is a one-year pilot project funded partly by CyMAL and partly by the participating Welsh authorities.  The project will initially run for one year – if you have any observations to make about the service please contact me at

You can access the service at  or via our webpages here. You will need your borrower number (the one on your card beginning 80…), and your PIN to log in – if you don’t know your PIN please contact me.

Here are some of the main aspects of the service.

  • This service is free!

  • Why oh why doesn’t it work with Kindles? Kindles are a proprietary device sold by Amazon – their primary aim is to store/display e-books purchased from Amazon.  At the moment, at least in the UK, Amazon has no interest in loaning ebooks.

  • You will need to download and install Adobe Digital Editions via an automatic pop-up, which will help you manage your ebooks – there is no charge for this.  If you want to transfer it from your pc to a mobile device you may need to install additional bit of software.  The recommended software for the particular device is listed in the FAQs section on the eBooks for Wales website, and the software is free.

  • If you wish to download your ebook to an iPad or iPhone then there’s a fine walk-through here.

  • You are able to borrow and/or reserve up to 4 items (i.e. you can have 1 on loan, and 3 reserved, or vice versa, or 2 and 2).  This will be in addition to the 15 items you are currently allowed.

  • You will be able to select in days how long you wish to borrow an ebook, but the default period is 3 weeks.

  • At the end of the chosen period the ebooks will disappear from your hardware.

  • There are no renewals as such, but after the loan period has expired and the file is deleted, you will be able to download it again immediately unless someone else has reserved it.

  • Whilst the ebook is in your selection basket it will not be available to anyone else.  If you don’t download the ebook within 30 minutes, it disappears from your basket and goes back on the e-shelf.

  • When you reserve an item you are told when it will be available (there will be no late returns as the item is automatically returned after the selected loan period).

  • If you reserve items you can choose to be notified by email 72 hours before the book becomes available. 

  • You have 24 hours to download an available reserved item.  After 24 hours it goes back on the shelf or onto the next person in the reservation list.

  • If you do not choose to be notified by email, then you will need to remember to check the site.

  • There will be a Welsh version of the interface by the time of the full launch in September.

  • At the moment there are very few e-books in Welsh available.

  • Phew, that’s it!

As mentioned, this is a one-year pilot programme and will be reviewed continuously throughout this period.  Your views and experiences are vital to improving the service and we welcome all feedback, good or bad!

There will be happy shiny publicity material later in the year, but we hope this will be enough to get you started.

The service is live NOW!  Go grab an ebook!.




  2. I have a Kindle (sob) but I also have an iPhone so I'm going to give it a go with that :) I'll let you know how I get on!

  3. Great service and I downloaded my first book.

    However ... there are a few gotchas if you want to read this on an iPhone or iPad ... I found an excellent article here

    it is all a bit clunky but the instructions are clear enough, if a bit geeky (get a 12 year old to help if necessary).

    If you are a Mac user then the directory where your e-book by Adobe are stored is probably /Users/yourname/Documents/Digital Editions - the article assumes everyone uses windozy machines :(