Thursday, December 08, 2011


A library discussion list I subscribe to has had a lot of chatter recently concerning the plight of small libraries that can’t afford free user download services. If your library is in that boat (or if you work in a library that’s in that boat), you should know that you (and your patrons) can access thousands of ebooks for free (legally) online:


And thousands of free audiobooks: LINK

NOTE: If your library does not offer free ebook, audiobook, and music downloads, you may want to get an Annual User card at a library that does. I think you’ll find that the cost of an Annual User card is much less than the cost of purchasing access to the number of items you’ll be able to download.

For example, a Mid-Continent Library Out-of-District Annual Card for residents of Missouri and Kansas costs $60. $60 will buy you approximately six new ebooks or three new audiobooks from an online vendor like If you download just one ebook per week from Mid-Continent, that’s an annual savings to you of $460 ($520 - $60). If you download just one audiobook per week from Mid-Continent, that’s an annual savings to you of $980 ($1040 - $60).

Here's info from their website on their Out-of-District cards for Missouri and Kansas residents:

The following options are available to persons living outside of the Mid-Continent Public Library service area:

Out-of-District card -- New Out-of-District cards can be issued at any of our 30 branch locations. New Out-of-District cards will be issued only to Missouri or Kansas residents living outside the MCPL service area. You must be present to register for an Out-of-District card. There is a fee of $60.00 and the card is valid for one year. Cards about to expire or expired can be renewed in person or by mail, phone, or email.

More info here.

And here's Mid-Continent’s online guide to Digital Downloads:


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