Using other people's library card to get ebooks


I followed an online discussion about accessing ebooks using library cards that you obtain online. (The discussion is behind a password so I cannot link you to it. ) People said there were libraries that would send you a card regardless of where you live. They then use the card to checkout ebooks from their location. It sounded like people were accessing ebooks from libraries in other states One person had a slightly different approach: "Also, if you know someone in another city/state who has (or is willing to get) a library card, ask them if you can use their number. I often use my SIL's library account from another state, because they have a great selection of eBooks."

Anyone heard of this happening?


we say that you can let someone else use your card... we also have an e-card that accesses our online databases that anyone, anywhere, can get (but it doesn't work with downloadable ebooks).

we pay lots of money for this online stuff and we want it used. if your card is not used for downloads, then let your friend in Hawaii use it.. it keeps the stats up.

so, No, we don't give out e-cards that let you download e-books or audiobooks. but, yes, we will let you use our online databases because that doesn't affect our local users' access. but the e-books would make the wait list for popular titles much longer if all those Hawaiians were downloading our books.

Do your database licences allow for remote access for nonstate residents? If it does GREAT if not you should really think about following the agreements you made with your vendors.

It might be "legal" by policy within your library but offering database access to people that do not have their own card/access is a clear violation of most electronic product license agreements that information producers make libraries agree to.

I use my mother's card to download ebooks. She lives in a larger/richer county that has a much better Overdrive subscription. She never uses her card herself, and checking out ebooks doesn't incur any fines so it isn't as if she is going to have to be responsible for anything. My parents pay property taxes, so my periodic use of their resources is no different then if my mom checked out books and lent them to me. At my library where I live we basically have e-audio books here, not ebooks, so it is the only library way for me to get them. At the library where I work, we have a lot of people who use other's library card, like kids using their parent's, husband using their wives, we tell people possession of the card is permission to use it. Where I used to work, my boss purchased a card from an out of state library so he could access their library databases.

I recently moved from a town with a great subscription (2,500+) to one with a poor subscription (250+). Needless to say, I'm still using my old library card. I plan to use it until it stops working, my new public library decides to invest in an decent collection or my employer (academic library) has a collection.

Ummm, yes. People were doing this way, way back when I was an undergraduate. (Over a decade ago). Not only that, there were ftp (and later p2p) sites with digitized books that people swapped. I never did it much myself, due to an unhealthy level of paranoia at getting caught.

Heck, a lot of library systems don't even use encryption or login limits. I seem to remember some hubub a while ago where a list of library card numbers + names was in one those lists of credit card numbers and other identity theft lists.

This is disappointing. This is the type of thing that increases the cost of the subscriptions and eventually degrades the system for everyone.

This is a common issue for people in small towns whose children have gone to university. I know a lot of people who were amazed by the e-book and audio selection in the city their child moved to and they used their cards or used their child's address to get their own card so they could access what their library didn't have.

This is why we block out of area IPs from accesses our databases and e-resources. We take our licensing agreements quite seriously.

we are just so huge and pay so much freakin money that we have permissions to allow e-cards without geographic constraints.... we had to cut $250,000 from our econtent budget this year but still have lots to offer our patrons, so we spend lots more than some of these small systems and we get more for it...

I signed up to another library in a different state in Australia (Victoria) from the one I live in (NSW) to try out their Overdrive collection of audiobooks when we were researching that service.
I'm not much of a one for audiobooks but my mother is and I gave her my library membership number and password so that she could use it - she divides her time between and accesses this Victorian library service from Edinburgh, Scotland and Paphos, Cyprus.

Such as databases? I'm guilty of this.

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