Always Available Travel Guides

Seattleites love to travel (or at least love to read travel books). While the library has a large collection of travel books in print, they are not always available when you want them. OverDrive, our ebook provider, had a small collection with limited destinations.

Until now. Continue reading “Always Available Travel Guides”

Seattle Cooks…Digitally

Everyone knows that The Seattle Public Library has an outstanding cookbook collection. But you may not know that you can check out “e-cookbooks” through OverDrive. If you’re a messy cook prone to spilling ingredients on page after page, then this could be the best option for you!

OverDrive has more than two dozen cookbooks, food and wine guides that celebrate the bounty and creativity of growers, farmers and chefs in Seattle, Washington and the Pacific Northwest. With chefs from Ethan Stowell to Renee Erickson, restaurants Cafe Flora to Skillet, local institutions like Ivar’s and the Herbfarm, sweet treats from Macrina Trophy Cupcakes, and guides to local cheese, beer and wine there’s something for everyone. Check them out right now!

Addressing data privacy issues around Adobe Digital Editions

— by Jim L.

Yesterday, Nate Hoffelder, the editor of The Digital Reader blog reported that the newest version of the Adobe Digital Editions software (ADE 4) appears to be transmitting data about eBooks back to Adobe’s servers.

The Library’s primary eBook distributor, OverDrive, uses Adobe’s Digital Rights Management software to help enforce the rules that publishers require to permit libraries to lend eBooks. The Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) application is used to setup Adobe IDs, which are required for you to borrow and read library eBooks. Often, the process of setting up and configuring an Adobe ID happens while you’re checking out your first library eBook and rarely needs to be repeated.

ADE can also be used to manage your eBook collection and even to read eBooks. A friend of Hoffelder’s discovered that ADE version 4 gathers and transmits data in plain text about eBooks that have been opened, which pages were read, and in what order. Hoffelder’s article includes samples of data captures and screenshots that seem to bear this out.

According to another source, this issue appears to only affect users who use ADE on a desktop computer for reading and managing eBooks. If users use the OverDrive app or an e-reader device to actually read eBooks, it does not appear that they are affected. Continue reading “Addressing data privacy issues around Adobe Digital Editions”

To Oz on a Nook

One of the best things about using an e-reader, as I keep saying, is the tons of out of print wonderful books available now. (“Tons” I use metaphorically, because being e-books, they don’t weigh a thing.) I eagerly browse the OverDrive Gutenberg E-Books and have hit the jackpot a number of times. Lately, since it’s laid-back summertime, I have been reading the Oz books available in e-book format, and this makes me think about L. Frank Baum and the world he and others created. Up till now, I had only known him as the Oz author, but it turns out he was more of a polymath writer (A series of books featuring Aunt Jane’s Nieces, another documenting somebody named Mary Louise, and all available on our OverDrive page) Baum is most famous for Oz—a fascinating, pre-industrial society nevertheless marked by some of the stresses affecting late-19th-century America like women suffrage, agricultural depressions, and battles over currency (Oz strictly on the Gold Standard) An account of Baum’s beliefs about society is Oz and Beyond: The Fantasy World of L. Frank Baum by Michaeol O’Neal Riley and  Riley, Michael O’Neal. Lawrence, Kan., University Press of Kansas 1997) and there is also L. Frank Baum, Creator of Oz, a biography by Katharine M. Rogers. From these I learn that Baum raised chickens, was a petroleum salesman, taught school. He failed at farming in South Dakota. (The barren Kansas Dorothy flies away from makes sense in that context.)

It seems that Oz-iana, if there is such a term, collectible and memorabilia from Oz films and so forth, are an exciting area of collecting. All Things Oz  describes one man’s assemblage of objects, and offers extracts from some of the popular novels. So there is lots there for a newly awakened Oz-aholic. For me, though, the very best is the downloadable ebooks, whose only flaw is that they lack the John R. Neill and W.W. Denslow illustrations. I might work through all of the titles this summer—stopping not at the magical land of Mo, another alternative world Baum created in one book where the rain is lemonade and the thunder is Tannhaeuser, but I may not tackle Aunt Jane’s nieces this time.

Parenthetically, I note that the library wants to award adult participants in our summer reading program with a fresh new Nook—details on the drawing are here so nobody will be left out. I think that time in a hammock with a clutch of Oz books is an excellent way to cross the Deadly Desert—and end up in the Emerald City.