Borrow a Kindle E-Book from the Chicago Public Library

The Chicago Public Library (CPL) has offered e-books in the EPUB format for a while now, but Kindle owners haven’t been able to borrow digitally until very recently. I checked out my first Kindle e-book the other day (Kafka’s The Metamorphosis ), and I have to say I was confused by the process. So, for all you Kindle-owning UCWbLing fans out there, I’ll give you a step-by-step guide to borrowing books from CPL, Kindle style.

Before you can borrow any kind of book from CPL, you need a library card; if you don’t have one yet, it’s easy to get. Once you’re packing a CPL card  in your wallet, head over to  From there you can begin browsing or searching for eBooks. If your’e conducting a search and just want to view titles that are available now, tick the box “Limit to available copies” before clicking “Go.” Keep an eye out for the Kindle Book icon, and when you find something you want to check out, click “Add to my cart” (or “Place hold” if it’s not available). Once you are ready to check out (you can check out up to six eBooks), click on “My Cart” and then “Proceed to Checkout.” Enter your library card number and Zip code, then “Confirm check out.” After that, click the button “Get for Kindle,” which directs you to, where you must click “Get library book”. After clicking this button, connect your Kindle to a wireless internet connection and voila, your Kindle will download the book. You’ll have three weeks to read it, and which your eBook will be automatically “returned” to the library.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • David S. says:

    I have come to realize that one of the most valuable possessions any of us have, in addition to (or, perhaps, in concert with) our DePaul ID card, is a Chicago Public Library card. The CPL branch libraries are wonderful resources, but the Harold Washington Library is truly exceptional. As a creative person, I have on a number of occasions wandered through the stacks for the visual and performing arts, but did you know that Harold Washington has a picture file?

    I was very saddened to hear on Chicago Public Radio this morning that Mayor Emanuel would be reducing CPL hours of operation in order to make budget cuts. As someone who tries to attend the free arts programs in their beautiful auditorium, I was fully aware that their list of events has been recently truncated. As I listened to the news, I thought to myself “Do you have to do that to the library?

  • Mia Amélie says:

    The DePaul Library has also advertised lending nooks (this is, of course, because we have a textbook contract with Barnes & Noble)! I have my own e-book, so haven’t tried this lending system yet, but I thought I would throw it out there. Thanks for sharing!