Answered By: Lindy Brown
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2016     Views: 3531

Thanks for contacting us! You've asked a really good question. If you want access to email in addition to being compatible with Library2go (our ebook vendor), you have many device options. Some of the new ereaders offer access to email through a built-in web browser (examples: Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Touch), but you can also choose from tablets, which have more "bells and whistles." Smartphones (such as the iPhone) are also an option because many provide access to the internet and you can download apps to read books on the phone.

There are many things to consider (e.g., price, size of screen, e-ink versus glow screen, weight of the device, ease of use, etc.) With that in mind, here are a few links that might help you narrow down your choices:

The librarians from the Eugene Public Library created a nice "Choosing an eReader or Tablet" subject guide. It has great information about what to look for when choosing a device compatible for library books (and other features, like email). You'll want to pick something that is compatible to Library2go, which is our vendor for ebooks. (There's a link to that info on the EPL subject guide).

HowStuffWorks: Should you buy a tablet or an ereader? This is a nice article discussing the differences between each, which might help you narrow down your choices.

Try out our Consumer Reports database. CR tested 16 ereaders as well as tablets (to access CR, you'll need your library card to log in from home).

FindtheBest.com has an ereader comparison guide here. They also do a comparison of tablets as well.

Personally - and I preface this with this is my opinion only - I prefer a tablet because it allows me to get library books, check my email, and browse the web if I want. I find the web browser on a tablet much easier (and quicker) to use than the web browsers on an ereader. I personally own an iPad, and I enjoy how easy it is to use. My other colleagues, however, may disagree -- one of them owns a Kindle Fire tablet (she loves it), and another colleague recommends the Google Nexus tablet. The thing to note about tablets, however, is that they are more expensive.

If you narrow down your choices to a certain ereader and/or tablet, try searching the internet with the name of the device, plus the word "reviews" and you'll get even more specific info. You can also search YouTube for personal reviews of devices, and that's always helpful too.

I know this was a lot of information, but I hope you find it helpful. Best wishes with your decision!

Lindy/Reference Librarian

P.S. We typically have Ebook Clinics near/around holiday time.  These are opportunities to learn how downloading ebooks from the Library works for different types of devices.  We also bring several devices out for show and tell that you can play with and try for yourself including an iPad (both a large one and an iPad mini), iPod, Samsung Galaxy tablet, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Color, and several more.  Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for upcoming clinics.

Comments (2)

  1. Help us ideas on how to use tablets and e.readers in a public library
    by patrick on May 25, 2015.
  2. Hi! We have a family literacy program in our library where we lend out iPads. You can learn more information about it here: http://cbcpubliclibrary.net/family-literacy-ipads/
    by Lindy Brown on May 26, 2015.

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