Please note: The information provided here is intended as a guide only. The library takes no responsibility for decisions made by users based on this information.
Introduction to eBooks
- What is an eBook?
- What do I need to know about eBooks?
- Finding eBooks
- eBooks for library members including compatible devices and troubleshooting help / FAQs
- Information for iOS7 users of Overdrive
- Check out our eBook help blog articles:
An eBook is a digital version of a traditional print book and may come in many formats including eAudio formats (all referred to here as eBooks). They are perfect for reading at home, work, or while travelling.
eBooks can be read on desktop computers, laptops, smart phones, media players, and many other mobile devices. Some eBooks can be downloaded while others can only be read online.
They are a great option for education, entertainment and recreation, providing flexibility, mobility, and 24 hour a day access.
eBooks are still relatively new technology, and the environment is dynamic and rapidly changing.
It is recommended that users carefully consider the options before purchasing devices for reading or listening to eBooks.
Here are a few issues and questions to keep in mind:
- Do you want an eBook reader (browse the Wikipedia list of eBook readers) or a multifunctional device (e.g. an iPad or a similar tablet computer, or a smart phone)?
- Do you want an eInk or LCD screen?
- There is a difference between the availability of titles sold through profit-making stores, and titles able to be provided through libraries
- The availability of titles will generally reflect publishing rights and result in geographic restrictions on downloading, so be aware of this when selecting providers and books to download
- Formats vary (often depending on the publisher or provider), and may or may not be compatible with your device (browse the Wikipedia list of file formats)
- Devices for reading and listening to eBooks and eAudio books are many and varied, as is their compatibility
- Digital Rights Management is used to control use of eBooks (access, copying, printing, sharing etc)
You will be able to find many free eBooks online, and there are also online booksellers from whom you can purchase them.
Before using such services, make sure you check costs, device compatibility, geographic restrictions etc. Some will allow you to download titles multiple times, while others will only allow one download.
Some of the places you can find eBooks include the following (note: no endorsement is intended):
- eBooks on Wikipedia
- Project Gutenberg
- Google eBookstore
- Barnes and Noble
eBooks for library members
We subscribe to several eBook services on behalf of library members, including:
- Overdrive eBooks and eAudio Books - Over 4,000 downloadable eBooks and eAudio books for adults and children are currently available.
- Bookflix - Classic video story books from Weston Woods paired with related non fiction eBooks from Scholastic. An engaging way to link fact to fiction and reinforce early reading skills and exploring knowledge. Online browsing only, not for download.
- Tumblebooks - Animated, talking picture books, puzzles and games for children, licensed from publishers and converted to Tumblebooks format. Online browsing only, not for download.
Before using eBook services via the library, please check the compatibility of your chosen device:
Note: Kindles are not compatible with Overdrive in Australia. Due to geographic restrictions, this is currently only available in the USA.
If you are having difficulty using the library's eBook services, we recommend you:
Asking for help
The library's eBook services are subscribed to by the library on behalf of library members, and enquiries may need to be forwarded to providers located overseas. Should you experience difficulties with eBook services or downloading titles please read the information on this page.
If you cannot resolve using that information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your name
- Library membership number
- Title/s causing the problem
- As much detail as possible about the problem or error message/s you are receiving
Why don't the eBook titles I've borrowed appear on my library membership card?
Physical items borrowed from one of the branch libraries and digital items borrowed online are managed separately, but use the same membership number and PIN.
To view a list of the eBook titles on loan to you, please use the eBooks website, not the library catalogue.
How to I find out if a title is available or not?
An eBook or eAudio title is either on loan or available. If the title you want is ready and available for downloading to your account immediately, it will be listed as Put in library bag. However, if the title you want has been borrowed and is not currently available for downloading, it will be listed as Request Item.
When you add a title to your library bag, it will remain there for 15 minutes. During this time you can borrow it (called check out). If you don't borrow it within the 15 minutes, the title will be automatically returned to the collection, making it available to other customers.
Why can't titles be borrowed by more than one person at a time?
The only difference between eBooks and regular books is the format. In purchasing one copy of the eBook, it can only be made available to one user at a time.
How many titles can I borrow at once?
You can have up to 10 titles checked out at any given time.
You can place up to 10 titles on hold (request/reserve) at a time. When a title you have placed on hold becomes available for check out, you will receive an email indicating the title is available. If 5 days elapse from the time you are emailed this notice, and you do not check out the title, it is returned to the library collection, making it available to other customers.
Can I limit a search to specific formats or only search available titles?
Yes. These, and other types of searches are available in the Advanced Search which is listed under the general search box, near the top right hand corner of the page. In Advanced Search you can search for a specific format by clicking on the down arrow against the Format search box, or ticking the box next to Only show titles with copies available.
How do I return an item?
When the borrowing period ends, the title will automatically be removed from your record, and become unplayable on your computer. Titles will only expire on certain portable devices. For example, many devices come equipped with Windows Media Player Mobile 10. This has the ability to read license files and titles will expire similar to as they would on a computer. However, some mp3 players do not have the ability to determine when a file will expire, and will not prevent the title from playing after expiring. The same for titles that are burned to CD.
Please read the Important Notice about OverDrive Audiobook Copyrighted Materials for more information on the usage rights.
Can I return items early?
Due to licensing agreements, only titles in the Adobe eBook format can be returned early. With all the other formats, you need to wait for the borrowing period to end. However, prior to downloading a title you can specify the borrowing period for a title to be either 7, 14 or 21 days.
Can I renew items?
The items you have checked out cannot be renewed, but you can check them out again if they are available when the checkout expires.
iOS7 update and Overdrive
Apple has released an iOS7 update and many Apple users may have upgraded their devices, or plan to do so in the future.
When an existing Overdrive Media Console (OMC) user upgrades to iOS7, the app will fail when you try to open a DRM-protected book. New or first-time users will not be affected by this issue.
Overdrive is working to resolve this issue. In the meantime, if you experience this situation:
- Re-authenticate the app with your existing or a new Adobe ID. Refer to the iOS section of this Help article for help.
- Uninstall and re-install OMC which will also require you to re-authorise with Adobe. Note: Re-installing will clear your bookshelf, history and app settings.
Audio book users will not notice anything different unless you try to download parts of audio books already downloaded to OMC before upgrading to iOS7. You will receive an error message telling you to download the title again.
For the latest updates on this issue, follow the Overdrive Digital Library Blog.