Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Borrowing Ebooks with Overdrive

Increasingly, local libraries are adding online digital catalogs of books available for borrowing. Many libraries are choosing OverDrive Digital Downloads to deliver and manage the lending process. Currently, OverDrive is tied into 18,000 libraries with millions of readers.

The first thing you need to do is become a member of a library participating in the Overdrive digital lending program. Then you will need a library card number and a 4-digit pin code to identify you as a borrower and regulate the number of ebooks you can have checked out.

OverDrive supplies ebooks to libraries in two popular formats, PDF ebooks and industry standard EPUB ebooks. Depending on your library, most of the titles available on OverDrive can be read with all major desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows and Mac computers, iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry smartphones using an OverDrive e-reader client, and ebook readers including Sony Reader and Kindle.

You will select a book to borrow by browsing the online library with your browser. You can place holds on books that are not available, have a wish list, and look for books they currently have available. To look for books that are available, click on ‘Advanced’ next to the search bar. This will pull up a new menu that will give you a number of options such as ISBN, Author, Title and others. Check the box on the bottom that says ‘Only Show Titles Available.’ If you place a hold on a book, you will be notified by email when it is available. Each library is limited to a predetermined number of copies that they can lend out.

If you are using an OverDrive e-reader client, you will download the file directly to your e-reader. If you are using an Amazon Kindle e-reader or app, you will have to log on and register your library account with Amazon, and check the book out directly to your Amazon account. As soon as you check out the ebook it will be available on any of your devices. Reading an ebook that you borrowed from the library is the same Kindle experience as with any other book, including syncing across all of your devices.

I would also like to mention Overdrive for K-12 Schools.

Your school library can give your students access to digital books and more 24/7 with School Download Library. Students can check out titles online, and read or listen offline on PC or Mac, smartphones, MP3 players, and ebook readers including Sony Reader and Kindle (US only). You can build this digital collection based on grade level or school curriculum with digital titles available in virtually every subject.


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