Search The Catalog My Account

If You Get a Kindle or Nook or Whatever as a Holiday Gift . . .

December 13, 2011 by Reader's Connection

ho-ho-ho. . . we´re attempting to anticipate your needs by gathering a list of popular questions.

Remember that if your questions aren´t answered below, you can contact the Webmaster.

Also be aware that the library is giving classes on the subject, and beginning in January these will be available at some of our branches as well as Central Library. Here´s a schedule.


Now then, the first question: How do I download e-content from your website to my device?

A: This simple question has a complicated batch of answers, due to the variety of devices. Rather than mashing them all together, here, I’m going to try to make sure you can find the instructions on our website.

If you’re already comfortable with downloading, you can scroll down to Question 2.



If not, go to our OverDrive Downloadables page, and click where it says My Help on the upper left.







You’ll be given an audiobook/ebook choice, and I’m going to choose ebooks.







You are asked to pick from a list of gizmos.












I have arbitrarily chosen the Nook, and am sent to a page that must be in some way necessary. When you click on the button that says View My Help . . .




tabsforreal2 . . . you land on the page where the info lives. You can enlarge this illustration by clicking on it.

There are four tabs, and when you reach this page on the website you should probably look at each. Taken together, the instructions and links should give you what you need. If you still have questions, contact our Webmaster.

Question 2: Can I use the web catalog instead of OverDrive to do my searching?


A: You can. But not all the downloadable content appears in the web catalog–I’ll explain why at some later date–and everything you find on Overdrive is circulated through that site. If the OverDrive browsing is driving you crazy, be aware that the site includes an Advanced Search.

Click Advanced Search on the left side of the OverDrive screen, 






. . . and you are taken to a  screen that allows you to make your search quite specific.

Question 3: I returned my book, but it is still on my device (or in Adobe Digital Editions). How do I remove it from the device?

A:Returned EPUB eBooks or Kindle eBooks usually need to be deleted from the reader devices manually.  So the instructions for this depend once again on which device you’re using.

Question 4: If I have fines can I check out ebooks?

A: Borrowers of OverDrive ebooks and audiobooks who owe $5.00 or more will need to pay their fines before downloading their selection.

Question 5: Can I check out ebooks and audiobooks using library computers?

A: In most cases, this will not be possible, because the downloading process involves software that needs to be downloaded to the computer’s hard drive.
With the Kindle books, however, that software isn’t necessary. You can check out Kindle eBooks and claim them on the OverDrive site using our public computers. You should make sure that you remember to log out of the site when you’re done.

Question 6: Why does the search screen for OverDrive look different on an OverDrive app, or any mobile device?

A: Mobile web sites are usually “slimmer” than standard sites.  Usually they don’t use as many images, and the presentation is often different. Some technical features of standard computer web browsers are not supported (or not as well supported) on mobile devices.
Since the free OverDrive Media Console mobile app is only compatible with MP3 audiobooks and EPUB eBooks, the OverDrive mobile site only returns items in these formats.

Question 7: Can I renew this e-content?

A: Unfortunately, it is not possible to renew an eBook or a downloadable audiobook.  The files for these formats include an expiration date that is set when you check out the title. Allowing a change in the expiration date would expose these files to data piracy.

In order to continue using an eBook you would need to check out that title again, and download a new copy.  If the title in question is requested by other patrons, unfortunately you will have to place a request and wait for a copy to become available.

Question 8: Can I put two reserves on the same title?

A: No, you can’t, and you can’t request a title that you have checked out. With regard to the answer to question 7, this means you have to wait until after you’ve returned your title before requesting it again.

Question 9: Do you have magazines?

A: We don’t have e-magazines that you can check out. If you use our online databases, however, full-text articles from a variety of magazines are available.

Question 10: Do you have every title in e-format that you do in paper?

A: No, we don’t.

Question 11: Why don’t you have anything on/by my favorite subject/author?

A: If you would like the library to purchase certain ebooks or audiobooks, please go to My Account and select Suggest for Purchase. When filling out the form, select an audiobook or ebook as your Type of Material . Our selectors will see if the material can be purchased for the library.

Question 12: If I return an ebook/eaudiobook from my PC, will it continue to work on my portable device?

A: Not usually.

Question 13: Can I check in downloaded audiobooks ahead of their due date?

A: Unfortunately, there is no way to return a downloadable audiobook before it expires. There is no way to make sure that an audiobook has been deleted from all portable MP3 players, and it would be a violation of the licensing agreements to allow more than a set number of “copies” to be in circulation at one time. Therefore, OverDrive (the audiobook vendor) does not allow early returns.

Question 14: How about ebooks? Can I check them in ahead of their due date?

A: Yes. There are different mechanisms for the two different types of ebooks:

EPUB: In order to return an EPUB ebook before the expiration date: Open Adobe Digital Editions, and find the title you want to return.  When you point your mouse to the file icon, a small arrow will be displayed next to the file.  Click on that arrow to view a brief menu of options.

For a borrowed eBook that has not yet expired, one option in this menu will be “Return Borrowed Item”.  Click this option to return the eBook early, and confirm your choice at the prompt that appears.

Kindle: You can return borrowed Kindle eBooks before their expiration date through your account on the web site.

Go to the “Manage Your Kindle” page on (you will have to log in using your Amazon account credentials). This page lists all titles associated with your Amazon account including titles on your Kindle, archived titles, and loaned titles.  Titles on loan from the library should have a “public library” tag next to the title.

Each entry on the list will have an “action” button.  To return a borrowed title, click on the action button for that title and select “return this book”.  You can then delete the title from your Kindle or Kindle app as well as from the “Manage Your Kindle” page.

Question 15: Can I download an ebook but have it read to me?

A: As far as I know, only some Kindles have this “text-to-speech” component. Judging by the promotional materials, I’d say that the first Kindle didn’t have it, and that it showed up on later editions. But I don’t see it mentioned in the Kindle Fire promo, either.

Question 16: What device should I buy? (This question is for those who didn’t receive one as a gift.)

A: It depends on your needs and preferences.  Either of the main eBook readers (Kindle and Nook) can use our collection.  More titles are available in the EPUB format at this time, so the Nook might win on numbers. We look forward to buying more Kindle ebooks, on the other hand, and Kindles do not require the use of the Adobe Digital Edition software.

Question 17: Do you have movies that can be downloaded as e-content?

A: No, we don’t.

Question 18: If it is electronic, why aren’t titles always available for checkout?

A: The Overdrive ebooks and the ebooks from EBSCOhost are purchased by the library. The publishers of these ebooks and the vendors who sell them are working on a print-book model. They want us to buy multiple copies if we intend to circulate them to different users at the same time.

Question 19: Why is there a limit to my attempt to download titles from OverDrive?

A: To prevent data piracy, OverDrive sets a limit of three download attempts from their web site.  If you have successfully downloaded at least one part of an audiobook, you should be able to download the remaining parts through the OverDrive Media Console. In the Media Console, click on the title to download then click the “Download” button at the top of the window.


  1. Excellent post! The most useful, concise explanation I’ve seen on this subject. Thanks a lot!

  2. Donald Bond says:

    There is no link on the left-side menu for the ‘IMCPL’s Downloadable Collection’:

    Such a shame!

  3. Glenn Halberstadt says:

    Hello, Mr. Bond–

    Are you working on a desktop computer or on another gadget?

    Regarding desktop computers, I’m not sure which link I have failed to point out, so I’ll point out a couple of them.

    On the left hand side of our homepage at, there’s a link that says “Your Library @ Home: Downloadables & more . . .”

    When you’ve clicked on that, and are taken to the Your Library @ Home page, and then clicked on one of the OverDrive links (Audiobooks or eBooks) you are taken to the OverDrive page, where there’s a My Help link on the left.

    HOWEVER, if I’m using the iPad that my wife & sons gave each other a couple weeks ago, the same Your Library @ Home link appears on the homepage, and it works just fine, but when I get to the OverDrive page, the display is different and there’s no My Help link.

    There’s a Help link at the top, but it doesn’t take you on the path described in this blogpost.

    So if you’re trying to use a device that doesn’t display OverDrive’s help page as described above–or doesn’t display our homepage the same way, for that matter–I’m sorry for your inconvenience. Can you try to use a desktop or laptop?

    Hope this helps,
    Glenn Halberstadt
    Reader’s Connection

  4. Barb says:

    Thank you! Great article. I received a Kindle Fire & am trying to educate myself on its use.

  5. Kristina says:

    I have a Nook – what “format” do I choose when doing the advanced search? Thanks for the article, this is really helpful!

  6. Reader's Connection says:

    Hi, Kristina–

    Adobe EPUB eBook is the best format for you. The Nook will support Open EPUB and Open PDF formats, but there are very few titles in those formats compared with the Adobe EPUB format.

    Glenn Halberstadt
    Reader’s Connection

  7. Tami says:

    I have downloaded, read, and returned mulitple books for my Nook during the last week (always staying within the 12 book limit for items checked out). I admit that I’ve read many books this past week, but I was surprised to receive an automated message that said I had checked out and returned “too many” books and was essentially given a minimum seven day time out before I will be allowed to check out any more, even though I am within the 12 book limit.

    I purchased my library card for the purpose of using the digital library, so I’m hoping you can tell me what the limit is (i.e., how many books can be checked out/returned within what time limit). Thanks.

  8. Glenn says:

    Hi, Tami–

    The Webmaster sent you an email in response to your question, and I’ll post his message here.

    OverDrive (the downloadable content vendor) has a limit on the number of titles that can be checked out and returned within a rolling 7-day period. This limit is currently set to 36 titles (three times the number of items that can be checked out at a given time). OverDrive imposes this limit as a way to prevent data piracy, because it limits a malicious user’s ability to “churn” through the downloadable collection.

    I regret any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused.

  9. Después las resume y las va colgando en su blog: «Hay una
    página holandesa que es un tanto el referente en este campo.
    En España no existía nada afín y pensé que,
    a pequeña escala, podría ponerlo en marcha a través de mi weblog».
    Ciertos emprendedores ya se han puesto en contacto con el
    joven langreano para pedirle más información sobre las propuestas empresariales
    que aparecen en su bitácora.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen + seventeen =