How To Find A Nearby Library Which Lends Kindle Books & Other eBooks

Yaara Lancet 17-01-2012

library ebooks on kindleAs our society becomes more paperless, more people are looking for ways to replace their paper habits. Buying eBooks online is not a bad choice, but not everyone is into buying their books. Many of us enjoy our local public library, which lets us lend books for a limited time, and then return them. This is the cheaper, environmentally-friendlier and generally calmer choice, which doesn’t involve a lot of shopping.


But as mentioned above, more and more people are switching over to the eBook side, whether it’s using a designated eReader, a tablet, a smartphone, or even a regular computer. If you love eBooks, it does not mean you have to forego your library habits! On the contrary, checking out eBooks is much easier than checking out actual books. This guide will show you how to merge eBooks with your love for the library, where available.

Finding A Local Library That Lends Kindle Books

The easiest way to lend out library eBooks on Kindle is by using Amazon’s Kindle public library books. While only available in local libraries in the US, Kindle books are a great choice since you don’t have to own an actual Kindle to read them. The free Kindle app is available for iOS and Android devices, and you can even read those books on your computer using Kindle Cloud Reader. But how can you find a library that lends Kindle books?

To start, head over here. This is a database of libraries and bookstores around the world which hold downloadable media.

library ebooks on kindle

Choose the “Library Search” tab to search for libraries. You can also use this site to search for titles or bookstores. In the search box, type in the name of your library, your city or a zip code. Note that you don’t need to include the state, the search does not support that.


kindle library books

You will now get a list of all the libraries which match your query. All these libraries (the US ones, anyway) also have Kindle books to lend.

kindle library books

Click on the library that’s closest to you, or one you already have a library card for, to access the downloadable media section of this library. If the name itself is not sufficient for you to recognize the specific library, the next page also contains the library’s complete address.


kindle library books

On this page you can also see what kinds of media are available in this library (audiobooks, eBooks, music, video). Click on the bottom link, as shown, to enter this section in the library.

Checking Out A Kindle Book

To actually check out a Kindle book from a library, you would need to have a library card and a PIN number with that library. Browse the eBooks the library offers, and when you’ve found the one you’d like to take out, find the Kindle version of it and add it to your cart. This part can look slightly different for each library.

kindle library


You can now check out, using your library card ID and PIN number. Once you’ve checked it out, choose Get for Kindle. This will redirect you to Amazon’s Public Library Loan page for that title. After logging into Amazon, click on the “Deliver to” menu and choose your device (a Kindle, a tablet, a phone, etc.). Choose “Get library book” to send the book to your device.

Note that this option will only work if the device is connected to Wi-Fi. If you don’t have an available connection, you can simply download the file and upload it manually onto your device. The book will expire at the end of the loan period, which depends on your library. You will get an e-mail notification 3 days earlier, but no need to worry about heading to the library to return it!

And What If I’m Not From The US?

Although Amazon may have forgotten, we don’t all live in the US. Should this small fact exclude us from lending out eBooks? Not necessarily. While eBook lending outside the US is not supported by Amazon, it’s still possible to download eBooks from many libraries around the world, and read them on different devices.

To find local libraries that lend eBooks, head over here again and look for your library, same as above. You can also use the interactive map to browse for your library.


kindle library

If your country is on the list, you can browse for libraries. After you’ve found a local library, access the downloadable media section, as seen above, and choose your book. You will now have the option to check it out in the ePub or PDF formats. You can read these eBook formats on multiple devices using apps such as iBooks for iOS, Aldiko for Android, or a PDF reader of your choosing for PDFs.

library ebooks on kindle

This may not be as convenient as lending out a Kindle book, but it is still a great way to enjoy library books without even having to leave your chair, and without having to worry about returning the book on time.

Where do you get your books? Do you prefer buying them or lending from a library? Do you have any experience with taking out Kindle books or other eBooks? Share in the comments!

Image credit: Shutterstock

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  1. Jphoward7
    January 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    You can return books early using the Manage Your Kindle feature of your Amazon account.  Please return your book as soon as you are done because most libraries don't have as many ebooks as they need and this keeps them circulating.   Centrail IL Librarian

    • Yaara
      January 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Great tip, thanks!