We’re back in The Unquiet Library this week as preplanning has begun, and I’ve been energized, excited (and a little happily exhausted) by the collaborative planning sessions I’ve been engaging in with several of our teachers as we’re planning some new units of study and lines of inquiry with students that will tie into content area standards as well as library program goals, themes, and targeted skills/processes  for learning (coming on the blog this week!).  Because some of these conversations began back in June at the end of the year, I spent the summer exploring options for expanding our eReader and eBook program (which I’ll also be blogging later this week).  I’ll elaborate in more detail soon why we are going to go with the new Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch for our “go to” device to integrate into instructional units of study as well as a medium for digital recreational reading, but an email I received last Thursday from Amazon Kindle Education sealed my decision.

In the email, Amazon Kindle Education wrote:

We discovered the FAQ on your Facebook post [my note:  they actually discovered the post from our LibGuides page through our library’s Facebook page] and wanted you to either update the information to be in line with Amazon’s End User License Agreement with the attached setup information.  Or to remove the information on registering 6 devices per account to share digital content.

The email also pointed me to the Amazon End User License  (updated in February well after we began our Kindle program and which was never brought to my attention in subsequent phone/email conversations with Amazon Kindle Education in June 2011).  The email included a PDF attachment of a draft “Kindle Education: Setup Guide” (which reflects a real lack of an understanding of the needs of K12 schools and libraries) and then concluded with this paragraph:

Amazon recommends schools register each Kindle to a single account.  If you are looking for a library solution, we are working to include Kindle books in Overdrive.com’s offering to libraries before the end of the year.

I emailed Amazon Kindle Education to make sure that I understood:

1.  They now require a separate email for each device, and subsequently, for managing ebook content which is now 1:1 for K12.  I immediately thought of colleagues who have much larger collections of Kindle devices and Kindle books and felt astonished that Amazon could be so ignorant (or indifferent?) of how ridiculously impractical this mandate will make it for librarians to manage the those devices and content.

2.  The 1:1 rule will now be enforced for K12 and school libraries, yet the only backend management tool being offered to us is to purchase a subscription to Overdrive, which is financially impossible for most school libraries, and for my colleagues who work in elementary and some middle school settings, not a feasible solution in terms of ease of accessibility for younger readers or a selection of interactive ebooks that are more developmentally appropriate for younger learners.  I don’t have a problem with the 1:1 aspect, but I do have a problem with Amazon not providing alternatives to help libraries and schools work within the confines of the licensing agreement that is now apparently being enforced (I was told via phone that in our case, they were responding to a concern shared by a publisher who apparently saw our LibGuides Kindle pages).

In a phone conversation with my Amazon Kindle Education rep Monday, the new terms of agreement were confirmed.  While the rep stated that Amazon is working on some type of backend management tool/system, it will not be available for several months, and I got the impression it won’t be comparable to what Barnes and Noble is now offering to K12 schools/libraries.   I had already planned to go with the Nook Simple Touch for 2011-12 (again, I’ll blog why later this week), but nonetheless, it was disappointing to walk away from this series of conversations feeling as though Amazon does not seem to value the needs of the K12 market and is not being terribly responsive to our needs as institutional consumers.  While we will continue to utilize our existing fleet of ten Kindles, we certainly will not invest any additional monies in the devices or ebook content under the current limitations that really will not work for our environment.

I share this information not to “bash” a vendor, but to help colleagues have as much information as possible as they prepare to make decisions about devices and providers of ebook content in the upcoming school year.  I’ll have a post up later this week about the options we’re exploring and how we feel they will meet the needs of our students and teachers.

81 thoughts on “Why We Won’t Purchase More Kindles at The Unquiet Library

  1. Thank you for this information. I believe that this goes back to Amazon, the publishers, etc. and their dislike/distrust of libraries. The purpose of a library is to make information, books, and other materials readily available for no immediate cost to the end-users (patrons). The purpose of amazon, publishers, etc. is to make money. They (amazon, etc.) see the immediate ‘The libraries are giving away our content for free’, and do not see the long range benefit. Often I have been turned on to a series at the library only to find that they do not have all of the series, or someone else is reading the same series and does not bring them back on time. In these cases I will happily go to Amazon (I’m in a small community without any local bookstores) and pick up the rest of the series, and sometimes another book as well. If the library did not exist, then I probably would never have found out about that series, and therefor would not have spent money at Amazon. This is just one librarians experience though.

  2. Hi Buffy,

    I think you were on the bleeding edge and your postings helped Amazon to shape their end user agreement which is a little backwards on their part but cool nonetheless. They did not understand K-12 use until you unintentionally explained it to them via your postings to us as you explained the planning and implementation of your Kindle program. You have added value to their product b/c I think they are scrambling to accommodate a market they did not realize they could potentially capture because of the level of detail in your writings. It’s probably a little late on their part but it just goes to show how one person blogging can make such a big impact on a business!

  3. This is fabulous to know because I just ordered two Nook Classics yesterday and was waiting to order the Kindle for my school library – but not now! Thanks so much for sharing for those of us just getting into the ereaders in our school library systems!!!!

  4. Your students will mature into adults – who buy and use the devices they’ve become familiar with in their libraries. Very short-sighted of Amazon not to accommodate educational accounts. Christmas (and birthdays, graduations, etc.) is coming and gifts will be given…

  5. I hate to say this, but I find it unsurprising that Amazon has decided to put the brakes on using the Kindle in this fashion. The Kindle was designed to sell content and clearly, Amazon wants to protect its investment. Amazon is not interested in making its products freely available through libraries. It wants everyone to buy books, either through its website or through the Overdrive model. Do you feel that Barnes and Noble has made a long-term commitment to providing access? It’s up for sale; who can say if its eventual purchasers will continue the terms you now find agreeable?

  6. I am a MS librarian and book review blogger. Many of my students and teachers have e-readers of their own. Others are thinking about it (I get asked which is better all the time). If Nook is what is in their school library, Nook will be what they are used to. When they are ready to purchase an e-reader for themselves, which one do you think they are most likely to buy?

    1. I purchased an iPad a while back and I’ve been very happy with it (I am a Children’s Librarian and blogger). Instead of having separate devices, condense! My iPad is a camera, video camera, web browser, e-reader, notepad, etc. all in one. It’s worth the extra cost because you don’t have to purchase those other devices (making travel a lot easier). The battery life is great and then you have the option to purchase books/apps from various suppliers. As my personal tool, I love it!

  7. Thank you so much for this information! I just bought 6 Kindles for my school library, but haven’t started using them yet. How do you use them in your library? Do you circulate them or use them in collaborative lessons? Can’t wait for your blog post on why you’re switching to Nooks. Thanks for sharing your experience and information!

  8. Thank you for your information. I was just getting ready to purchase Kindles. I am very disappointed in the what Amazon has done. It is especially frustrating to me since I called Amazon at least twice to ensure that I understood their policies regarding the Kindles for school-they never mentioned any of this. Thanks again.

  9. Although I do not disagree that this is a highly unfortunate licensing development, I am wondering if you have considered turning these lemons into a sort of potential lemonade. Your students holding public library cards (and if there are some that do not, this could be an excellent opportunity to collaborate with your friendly public library staff) could be encouraged to use their cards at school to virtually check out e-books on the devices. This would, I believe, be within licensing terms that the public library holds since the individual students would be using their own cards to check out materials. Of course, this is not ideal….but would constitute a bit of tart lemonade, eh?

  10. Wow- that’s so amazing! Hard to believe they would be so short-sighted about the school library situation. I don’t know of anyone who would be able to afford that at all.

  11. This sounds an awful lot like managing Apple’s iPads. In a 1:1 environment, it’s not that big of a deal. But when you get into sharing devices (as in a lab situation) then it becomes a real pain to manage multiple devices. Even though the devices are not directly tied to a single email account technically, syncing to different libraries on different machines with different accounts simply isn’t efficient or even feasible.

    As far as the Kindle/Nook debate, I just have to say I love my Nooks. I love the ease in which I can download books from our public library (using Adobe Digital Editions) and don’t have to mess with Overdrive.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  12. Not only does Nook allow up to 6 to share, but our wonderful local Barnes and Noble rep came out to my school with our Nooks preset and ready to go!! They have been amazing to work with!

  13. Thanks Buffy for your post, I am about to launch into an e-reader purchasing plan for our library, firstly to support the students with learning difficulties. I asked for quotes on all but the kindle, the office people asked – “but why not the kindle???” I replied that I have a bad feeling about them and how protective they are – now this has been substantiated and given me some grounds as to why I won’t be buying them for our library.
    Thanks again. Glad to have you back after the break.

  14. Hello everyone! I so appreciate everyone’s thoughtful comments here–I’m going to respond to each and every one of you, but right now I’m in an avalanche of email and some other deadlines related to our preplanning week. Please be patient, and I promise I’ll respond to everyone! In the meantime, keep the conversation going–I so appreciate each of you taking time to share your thoughts/ideas/experiences here in this space!

    Very best,

    1. Hello,

      I just noticed this now. Has there been any new developments or responses from Amazon re Kindle use in libraries?



      1. Not with us directly, no. After the post ran, Amazon would not return my emails or phone calls; they were then telling anyone who called the 6:1 rule was still in effect, which of course, contradicts what I was told in writing and via phone. Unless I had it in writing that this was the case and that I had their explicit permission to circulate Kindles, I would not do any additional business with Amazon.


      2. New developments? From posts exchanged on the Missouri Assoc. of School Librarians I know more librarians are using eReaders with mixed results. (Mostly Kindles and Nooks.) Overall, we are happy with how things are going and plan to continue. One Kindle advocate on the MASL list told me Amazon is still allowing 1:6. I’ve continued that with our 10 Kindles and have started sending them home with students. What I hope Amazon comes to realize is…the more times their Kindle is exposed to kids at school, the more likely they are to go with that brand of eReader. Letting the Kindles go home with kids has boosted interest. Three kids have brought in Kindles they received as gifts (one yesterday who rarely reads–turning over a new leaf with the new toy), and several parents asked me questions about getting their kids Kindles as Christmas presents. I was also given a Kindle Fire for early birthday/Christmas. Except for the inability to categorize books, I absolutely love it! (Surely they will provide an upgrade or app to take care of that.) Unless Amazon does start enforcing the 1:1 rule, I’ll be happy sticking with the Kindles.

      3. We had similar results last year, but we had already decided to go with Nooks for 2011-12 because:

        1. we felt the Nook Touch was a better ereader device
        2. the digital managed locker for ebooks (if you ever build up a large collection, you will run into major difficulties managing the Kindle collection down the road)
        3. the ability to buy ebooks with purchase orders from B&N
        4. Amazon’s policies for loaning ereaders and ebooks and their selective enforcement of it.

        If Amazon does decide to enforce the 1:1 across the board, I know a lot of school libraries that are going to be in a world of hurt—your options for management are Overdrive (which does nothing for the ebooks you’ve already purchased) or having an email account for EVERY device.

        I personally don’t think it is a matter of “if” as it is “when” regarding the 1:1 rule. As I said earlier, get it in writing that they are giving you permission to do this now to protect yourself and your school.


  15. Interesting. I am not surprised that Amazon would do this, sad, but not surprised. There appears to be a dispute going between them and Apple as well over the ability to buy their products through an App on the iPhone. Yesterday Amazon removed the link to their Kindle store from their app http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218629/Amazon_caves_to_Apple_drops_Kindle_s_in_app_button as part of this. Really the book publishing and distribution industry still has a long way to go before getting into the 21st Century.

  16. Thanks so much for posting this and bringing the Nook Simple Touch to my attention. I’m in a school system that is fortunate enough to entertain the notion of licensing content through OverDrive. Unfortunately, I’ve had one hell of a time sealing the deal with an OD representative, so the fact that your Amazon rep mentioned the OverDrive partnership is laughable to me.

    I admit some confusion after reading your post, checking out the Kindle Education page, and reading the Kindle licensing agreement. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a glass of wine while pouring over it all.

    The Kindle Ed page says, ” Registering Devices: For orders greater than five devices, the Kindles will arrive unregistered. In order to register them, you will need to follow directions that arrive with each device. If you would like students to be able to have their own notes and bookmarks, you will need to register a maximum of one Kindle per Amazon account.” This statement suggests to me that Amazon encourages (but doesn’t require) registering each device to a single email address so that notes, bookmarks, etc. can stay with a single user. Does the draft of the Kindle Education Setup Guide differ drastically from the Kindle Education web page?

    I anxiously await your follow-up posts!

  17. We have purchased only two kindles to try and love them. My thought on the use of a purchased ebook on more then one machine may differ from everyone else. If you want two paper copies, you buy two books. The e-books are still a cheaper and a really convenient form of book even ifyou have to buy more than one copy. Look forward to the replies to all of this, thanks for starting it!

  18. Thanks for sharing this information. I only have one Kindle in our library and was wondering whether to get more but will definitely think twice now. In fact I’ve just done a search, using e-reader as my term, and found a table on Wikipedia that outlines the specifications of all the various makes. I’m astonished as I hadn’t realised just how much choice there is and so many have library compatibility. I was going to purchase a Kindle as a personal treat but will definitely have a look at some of the others now. Thanks again.

  19. Until Amazon/Kindle and the publishing industry come up with standards for libraries, I see using the Kindle I recently purchased as a “reference” book in the professional materials collection. Since this Kindle has wifi, it allows any user to bypass the school’s filter (good to know 😉 — so, no students for this device.

    As a reference that doesn’t check out, each user has access to a huge number of titles while they are in the library. The device may be tailored to specific subjects – a science reference Kindle, and social studies reference Kindle, etc. Department heads may be allowed to forward content to the librarian to “adopt” into the Kindle. Brave new world stuff — Of course, most teachers will want to put these devices “on the network” so that they won’t need to come into the library to use it. And, the less scrupulous will try to pull books off the Kindle or push books onto the Kindle with their own devices. Interesting times.

    1. Even if you use the device as a single subject area “reference” tool, I still don’t see it as practical to go with Kindles because of the requirement to have a separate email account for every device when there are more library friendly models available. I personally don’t see using a single Kindle as one subject area “reference” material as a viable model for us, but it might be feasible in other library/learning environments.

      Re: wireless—if you are picking up your school’s wireless network, the filter should still be in place.

      I think the use of any ereader is an opportunity to further cultivate relationships with faculty so that they will want to be in the library if we’re framing it as a learning center where they and their students can discover and access content/information through many mediums while having a teaching/learning partner (the librarian) to help facilitate. It’s also an opportunity to work with faculty to help them utilize the devices and content in an instructional context rather than isolating them in their classrooms.


  20. Thank you Buffy for all of your information here. We too will be looking to Barnes and Noble and moving from the Kindle. I’m so appreciative of your work and advocacy on behalf of students and libraries. I’ve been following your Twitterstream with Dawn Nelson and am also grateful to have her here in Minnesota as a resource. Have a wonderful school year.


  21. Launching an ereader program at my school in the fall and have been wrestling with the issue of Nook vs Kindle. Your exchange with Amazon just may have sealed the deal for me with Nooks. I’ve been talking with the local Barnes and Noble rep and they seem to have a better understanding of the needs of a K-12 library and are willing to work with me to ensure a successful launch and provide continuing support.

    As always, thanks for sharing.


  22. Great information! I am an author of grade 3-8 historical fiction novels that are used in schools for Social Studies. Barnes & Noble have asked me to get my books posted to their site but I was going with Kindle first, thinking that the largest bookstore in the world would be a better location to post. I have just converted my first book to epub and am ready to sign a contract with Amazon. I will go with B&N first, as long as they are supporting libraries, schools and education.

    When will big business learn, children are the future, and teachers and librarians are the gatekeepers. Resources must be made available inexpensively to help schools help our children, so we all have a better future.

    Thanks for helping me to decide which company to go with.

  23. I just talked with an Amazon rep, who claims that nothing has changed as far as their registering of devices and licenses. The rep assured me that a user or a library could still have as many devices registered to one email address as he/she/they wanted and that most Kindle editions still carried the 6 licenses. The rep did emphasize that the management of multiple devices under one email address can be challenging in regards to note-taking, highlighting, page syncing, etc.

    1. Melanie, see my comments below—I don’t know why they would take the time to send me an email to tell me to remove the wording about being able to buy 1 book and put it on 6 devices from my LibGuide page if there were not a problem. In addition, when I spoke to my rep on the phone, I was told that I had to register an email for each device and that the ebooks were now 1:1. If you plan to move forward with Kindles, I think you are taking a big risk–I’d get whatever you were told in writing.

  24. “Amazon recommends schools register each Kindle to a single account.” Notice it says “recommends,” not “requires.” I just spoke with an Amazon Kindle Education rep since we about to purchase them for our library and she repeated this recommendation. When I asked if it was against the license agreement to share the content on 6 devices, she just repeated that they do not recommend it in order to have the “best user experience.” I do not believe recommendations and requirements are the same thing. It seems to me that you can still share content among 6 devices.

    1. If they took the time to email me and to tell me to change the wording on my Kindle LibGuides page about the 1:6 policy and to point me to the user agreement, I’m guessing “recommend” is a nice way of saying “do it.” When I called and spoke to my Kindle Ed rep, I was told this had to be done and that the policy is now 1:1 for schools and libraries because we are an institution. I was told they were doing this to me because a publisher was not happy about my page and that Amazon was allowing this practice to go unchecked. If they weren’t planning on enforcing this rule, why would they require you to register an email for every single Kindle device? And if you buy books on one email, that means you can only assign the books to that one device.

      If the Kindle rep said this to you, I’d get it in writing–otherwise, what recourse will you have when you sink thousands into content and devices, and then they decide to enforce the terms of use and rules they sent me?

  25. We thought the same thing you did, so we did just that – got it in writing. It still just says “recommend,” but when I questioned her, she didn’t say they required it. I do think it’s odd though, that different libraries and schools seem to be getting different messages. I can understand your decision to go with Nooks, and while they are also 1:1 now, at least they will load the content for you. Good luck!

  26. Hi Buffy,

    I called a Kindle Education rep and they also told me you can register multiple Kindles on an email account and download onto 6 devices. The rep did confirm that they recommend the 1:1 but it is not required. Can you share the terms of use and rules they sent you as he just sent me recommendations for using the Kindle in Education and they don’t require separate accounts and I would really like to read what they sent you. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it!

    1. Sure!

      Also, have you seen: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000598521.

      I really have to question why they are telling people completely different messages . I was explicitly told via phone Monday (I emailed for clarification last Thursday after receiving the email and was then asked could we discuss phone–now I see why they didn’t want a paper trail) that it is mandated 1:1 for libraries and schools. I had actually through the grapevine this might be coming while at ALA, but I never expected to get an email stating to take down the 1:6 info off my Kindle LibGuide.

      Here is the link they included in the email: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200506200

      I still go back to the question: if it is acceptable for libraries to do 1:6, why did they ask me to take down that info off my LibGuide page?

  27. I wonder if they requested you remove the 1:6 info from your LibGuide, because the licenses vary from Kindle edition to Kindle edition. It seems like most Kindle editions allow for the 6 devices, but not all of them do. Perhaps Amazon didn’t want people thinking that EVERY Kindle edition could be loaded on 6 devices??? I don’t know how the LibGuide was worded though, so maybe that’s not it at all.

    This discussion reinforces the thought that service to libraries really can change at the whim of a vendor or publisher. It makes me feel uncomfortable for sure.

  28. Buffy, please keep posting updates on this timely topic! As a Kindle owner, I am a little worried about the lack of regard for use in libraries and wonder what the implications of these Amazon policies are for the future of Kindles. So far, I have only purchased ebooks for our collection for use on school computers. This policy discourages me from considering ebook readers, especially Kindles.

  29. To be honest, what Diane is saying does square with what the rep (the one you were talking to, Buffy) was willing to say to me, but we got into how having a book on multiple devices at home isn’t quite the same as having them on multiple devices held by 6 completely different people… and I have to agree on that point.
    I got her to grudgingly agree that the spirit of it would be maintained by only letting one kid have a particular book at once but that all could be on the same account, so I could give a particular book to kids serially, not simultaneously (unless of course it has unlimited distribution) — but she still said that was really a grey area. But it would be as if I were a teacher who’d bought a bunch of physical books and could give a particular book to more than one kid, but only one at a time, rather than more than one as I had planned (had a book been popular enough to be wanted by more than one kid).
    None-the-less, I still think we are now probably going to switch to Nook Simple Touch, in part because getting a dictionary entry is easier and the whole navigation thing is easier.
    I must say, however, managing the Kindle devices on Amazon is so far much more intuitive than managing multiple Nook devices on bn.com. (I have the app on my new mac — the mac app doesn’t work on all macs! — and on my iPod; the iPad version app has suddenly gone away, hopefully they’re fixing some major problems with it. But I can’t tell from my account what if any devices are out there associated with my account, and that, at least, is very clear on the Amazon site.)
    So, as far as I’m concerned, there are still arguments in both directions. Another tipping point for me is that B&N has a local presence and a person, a real person, willing to work with me because I’m working with the schools. I think in the end that will be a big help.
    I totally agree with you that Amazon needs to get all its reps on the same page, no matter what that page is. Seems like we are all getting different stories (oh, and FWIW, one reason I can do the one book to 6 devices on the Nook is because I am below the threshold of 25; 25+ does become 1:1 in that world too, apparently).

  30. I’d heard enough noise about Amazon and copyright that with our ereader program that we’re initiating in a small district, I didn’t even look to Amazon. When I called Barnes and Noble about the Nook, I was told by the local education rep that they, too, are recommending the 1:1 model. She likened it to buying a classroom set of books, that you would buy 25 copies of Tom Sawyer, so here you are buying 25 copies of Tom Sawyer. Fine, but that’s not what libraries do! So I took Doug Johnson’s advice and looked elsewhere, and now we’re doing Follett Shelf. We’re a 1:1 laptop school so it works perfectly for us.

    1. We looked at Follett, but their pricing, in my opinion, is too high, plus the ebook selection is very limited for what my teachers and students want. They are 1:1 as well with the ebook purchases—the “unlimited access” for merely viewing and not checking out/downloading is not a selling point for us, and even that is not available for every book. Follett Shelf has a very long way to go before it will be the right fit for our environment. We’re also not a 1:1 school, and even if we were, doing all reading a netbook or notebook is not appealing for our students–they want to be able to access the ebook on a small, lightweight device (which you can do with some mobile devices with Follett, but again, pretty limited at this time).

      I don’t think the 1:1 is going to change for any vendor unless graduated pricing (for example–pay $4.99 for a single purchase, pay $20.00 for unlimited distribution of the ebook) becomes a standard. Even Overdrive, which Doug recommended, is 1:1. I will give B&N credit for at least being responsive to the K12 world and providing some kind of workable solution for purchasing and managing the ebooks on the Nooks, which is not what Amazon has done as of right now.

  31. So people are dropping the Kindle and going to the Nook. What happens when B&N decides to do the same thing? It allows it now but who says they will in the future, especially if B&N is bought by someone who thinks differently. If you haven’t bought anything yet, I’d wait and see what shakes out of this.

    1. I think the difference is that B&N has developed a program specifically for K12 schools and libraries—a commitment to meeting our needs has been demonstrated, and that cannot be said for Kindle. Of course, as you pointed out, terms of service can change, but I’d say that is true for any content provider.

      1. Indeed, I have to be ready to start a project in my local school district within just a couple weeks, and literally need to buy my device, whatever it is (turns out will be the Nook ST), in the next few days so I can get them up and running and registered and so forth, ready for the kids. I can’t afford to wait even a few months to see if B&N goes a different way (just have to hope they don’t during my study). (Buying Nooks probably Thursday, Buffy!) The current attitude of Amazon in contrast with that of B&N is striking. I can only operate based on what they are telling us right now.

  32. Buffy, I really appreciate your update on all of this. How frustrating to cheer on an eReader and try embrace new forms of reading only to hit such a road block!

    Thanks for being so transparent about how your school is using eReaders. It’s been great PD for me, and others. I am sorry Amazon, Overdrive, and publishers found your transparency a threat. I mention Overdrive, because I find it hard to believe that they don’t have a hand in this Amazon action. Perhaps it was a sticking point for them in terms of their deal with Amazon. Overdrive could see Amazon’s 1:6 model as a threat to their business as well.

    The thing that also upsets me is that eBooks are already overpriced for what they are (digital files, that require no paper printing). In my mind, the 1:6 model actually makes the eBooks more closely in tune with the actual production cost. Something that, as a librarian, is important to me.

    One last thing, is this post linked to your LibGuide? I saw it in the blog feed, but thought it deserved it’s own section, honestly. Can’t wait to know how this all plays out.

    1. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement—I so appreciate that! Like you, I think the partnership of Kindle and Overdrive and the impending rollout of that partnership is a factor in these developments. Hopefully, we can work through these growing pains and challenges to find solutions that are equitable and fair to all stakeholders. I have this post on my LibGuides page on the home tab in the box called “blog posts” at http://theunquietlibrary.libguides.com/kindles .

      Thank you again for taking time to comment and share your thoughts/reflections!
      Best, Buffy

    2. Thanks so much for your kind comments! I feel Overdrive had some hand in this as well, but it’s interesting that since this post hit the web, Amazon has gone back to telling people that one book for six devices is fine for schools and libraries. Interestingly enough, they won’t return my calls or emails to ask why they were attempting to enforce on set of rules on me and not for others.

      If you go to our http://theunquietlibrary.libguides.com page and search “Kindle”, you’ll get to our page. I also have a new one set up for our Nooks, which are now processing and being prepared for shipment!

      Thanks again, and I’m with you–it’s going to be an adventure to see where the ebook/ereader and libraries journey goes next!


  33. In a nice coincidence, reading this post on kindles earlier in the day made me look at this article on Kno (and Kobo, etc.) in a whole new way. The ability to share ebooks library-style is quite different from what these companies are calling ‘social reading,’ but I could easily have glossed over the distinctions had it not been for the informative discussion on this page. Thank you!


    1. What’s missing Carol is Amazon’s apparent lack of communication within their educational divison. They have done a complete flip-flop since this post was first published a month ago–I have the original email (which I quoted in the post) in which they communicated that I needed to remove the 1 book for 6 device policy off my LibGuides page because they were going to enforce the 1:1 rule for libraries. Since this post and subsequent SLJ article, they are telling everyone a completely different story. I cannot get Kara, my Kindle Ed rep, to return my calls or emails, to explain why they were attempting to enforce one set of rules for us and not for everyone else.

      Best, Buffy

  34. When I talked with Amazon a few minutes ago, they told me that I could still put 6 devices on on account and share any books that I bought across those 6 devices. What am I missing here?
    Nook is not an option for me since I am in an overseas school and they tell me that they will not deal with overseas schools at all. Even if we buy the Nooks in the US (which someone plans to do for us) we can not download anything onto them from this country.
    I love my Kindle and hope that Amazon will not turn into one of those companies that just wants to make life difficult for folks.

    1. What’s missing Carol is Amazon’s apparent lack of communication within their educational divison. They have done a complete flip-flop since this post was first published a month ago–I have the original email (which I quoted in the post) in which they communicated that I needed to remove the 1 book for 6 device policy off my LibGuides page because they were going to enforce the 1:1 rule for libraries. Since this post and subsequent SLJ article, they are telling everyone a completely different story. I cannot get Kara, my Kindle Ed rep, to return my calls or emails, to explain why they were attempting to enforce one set of rules for us and not for everyone else.

      1. Buffy,

        I am going to be checking out the five ipads in my elementary library to students this school year. May I modify and use your district’s acceptable use policy and Kindle permissions-and-acceptable-use form please?

        John Wellcome
        Teacher Librarian
        Valdez City School District
        Valdez, Alaska

  35. Unbelievable Amazon is doing this…selling an item with specific terms, then coming back and saying, “Sorry, we changed our minds!” Sounds like they are asking for a lawsuit. A loss of business due to weasely policies, for sure.

    I read of Amazon’s 6 for 1 on the internet, and was told last spring when I purchased the Kindles from Staples that I could load six books for the purchase price of one. This was EXACTLY why I bought them. Book sets for our small groups to use. (I created the extra email accounts that included the Kindle barcode in the account address. That wasn’t really a big deal for me, since I only have 10 machines.)

    It’s about like buying a new auto with four-wheel-drive. Then having the car dealer say months later, “Yeah, we know we said this car came with four-wheel-drive, but we’ve decided to remove that option. If you don’t disable the four-wheel-drive yourself, we’ll send somebody to do that for you.”

    Janey Darnel
    Forsyth High School LIbrarian
    Forsyth, MO

  36. Okay, well. I can live with other people knowing I’m not a perfect typist. 😉 Still irritated that we spent all this money on Kindles that 1) never go home for fear of “inappropriate” internet surfing/hacking and expensive equipment stolen or damaged (our district has 2/3 of its students on free or reduced lunch) and 2) there’s no significant monetary savings. With the 1:1 policy, we’ll have ONE Kindle being used that will also tie up all the other individually paid for copies. No thanks.

    Janey Darnell

  37. Buffy,
    After considering all of the options, I think we’re going to purchase some Nook Simple Touch e-readers to circulate at school. The only hesitation I have with them is the link that Nook’s WiFi access specifically provides to social media sites. On campus, they can’t connect to the school’s WiFi with the Nook, but off campus it’s a different matter. Have you had any concerns with that feature? Does your AUP address it at all? Part of me says that it’s no different from the kids having their cell phones or laptops (we’re a 1:1 laptop school but they purchase their own), but I’m trying to anticipate all of the things I need to be aware of!

    1. Hi! There is not a web browser built into the Nook Simple Touch, so access to any websites should not be an issue.

      In general, access to content off site with any device is difficult to control since filters don’t extend off campus. AU policies could mandate terms of use, but as far as enforcing it….that is another ball of wax! Obviously, we want them to use school purchased devices appropriately, but I don’t see how schools can (or should?) dictate content access off campus. It’s definitely a sticky issue for some districts.


  38. THANKS as usual for your thorough assessment and fact-finding. I have been doing my own experimenting on the floor and study with ebooks and readers in Canada. OUr laws are different and in flux but the the crux is more or less the same- how to invest and implement ahead of a curve we cannot effectively predict. In your Kindle program Amazon changed. In other cases, perhaps the hardware changed. Overdrive has it’s costs. Even the publishers change policy abruptly. I suppose the best practice is invest modestly but fearlessly that helps kids as best you can. I have been investing in several fronts ( even counter to advice ) that puts text in the hands of patrons albeit on a small scale but I’m at least making my community aware and realise we are attempting to serve their interests even if hampered. When that one kids walks out the door Friday night with the third book in a series he can’t wait to get home to read I ultimately sleep well at night. 🙂

    1. You are so right—the whole eReader/eBook market feels like a moving target, but it’s through our collective efforts as we pioneer this new area of texts and reading that we learn together and ultimately help serve the needs of all we serve. Thank you so much for taking time to read the blog and for your supportive, gracious reflections! 🙂 Buffy

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