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Dec. 28, 2011 11:31 am

How to download an e-book from the Free Library of Philadelphia

Considering that Philadelphia was home to the nation’s first library, innovation comes naturally to the city’s library system. Skipping forward more than 200 years, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Free Library of Philadelphia offers a robust selection of downloadable e-books that could be compatible with the new e-reader or tablet device you […]

Considering that Philadelphia was home to the nation’s first library, innovation comes naturally to the city’s library system.

Skipping forward more than 200 years, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Free Library of Philadelphia offers a robust selection of downloadable e-books that could be compatible with the new e-reader or tablet device you may have received this holiday season.

Leaving no user behind, the library also offers the opportunity to download books for your desktop or laptop PC.

After the jump, our step-by-step guide — which is not without some expectations of experimentation — to check out free books and transfer them to your device of choice.

  1. Get a library card. Fill out an application [PDF] and drop it off at your local library branch to sign-up, if you haven’t already.
  2. Login to the Free Library’s online interface.
  3. Browse the available e-book titles:
  4. Figure out which e-reader software solution will work for your device:

Folks who download ebooks are urged to make donations specifically to the Free Library’s Digital Media collection. Choose that “Electronic and Print Materials” option from the “Direct Your Gift” drop-down list.

Because of the incomplete nature of this guide, if you have any advice for specific devices to help users better their experience when downloading e-books, please add them to the comments below.

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Brian James Kirk

Brian James Kirk is a cofounder of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Kirk was Web Editor of PlanPhilly, an independent online news resource covering planning and development issues in Philadelphia, and a freelance writer and designer. He resides in South Philadelphia.

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