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Ebooks and Audiobooks FAQ

What is the loan period?
The loan period for E-books is (up to) 21 days. The loan period for Downloadable Audiobooks is (up to) 14 days. You can change your preferred loan period in your Overdrive Account Settings.
How do I find library eBooks that can be downloaded immediately?

From the library catalogue:

  • Search for an eBook by title, author, subject or keyword.
  • Use the Format facet on the left-hand side to limit your search results to eBooks.
  • Indiviually check each item on the list by clicking the 'Check Availability' link.
  • If available, click the item's 'Available for Checkout' link.

From the Digital Media Catalogue:

  • Search for an eBook by title, author, subject or keywork.
  • Use the filters on the left-hand side to limit the results to both eBooks as well as what's available.
  • Mouseover the cover of the eBook and click the 'Borrow' button
Are E-books and Audiobooks free?
Yes, you can borrow digital media (E-books and Audiobooks) from the Ottawa Public Library at no charge, using an active Ottawa Public Library card.
How do I search for books?
You can search for digital items through two methods: Searching the Digital Catalogue on Overdrive's page on our website and inside the Overdrive app, or by searching the regular Catalogue and limiting your search to E-books and/or Downloadable Audiobooks.
What can I access with my device?
The items you can access depends on your device. Generally, an E-reader with an E-ink screen can access only E-books with the EPUB format, whereas a computer or a tablet can access both E-books and Downlaodable Audiobooks. Please check the device guides for more information.
What is an Overdrive Account and why do I need one?

An Overdrive Account is necessary to take advantage of the features available through the Overdrive app on your tablet or Windows 10 computer. This allows the library user to download and open E-books and Downloadable Audiobooks to use on the above devices. If you signed in with an Overdrive account, you do not need an Adobe ID (see below).

What is an Adobe ID and why do I need one?

An Adobe ID is an account created through the website. It allows the library user to download and open E-books that are DRM (Digital Rights Management) -protected. This is the ID you will need if you are using Adobe Digital Editions software on your computer to transfer E-books to E-readers.

What is OverdriveRead?

OverdriveRead is the website interface to read E-books on your web browser. Since you are not downloading the E-book, this requires you to be constantly connected to the Internet while you are reading. OverdriveRead is very useful if you are unable, or unwilling, to use the apps or software required to download E-books you have borrowed.

What is OverdriveListen?
OverdriveListen is the same as OverdriveRead - but for Audiobooks. You can listen to Downloadable Audiobooks on your web browser without the need for extra apps or software. Also, like OverdriveRead you require a constant Internet connection while you listen. Click on this link for browser compatibility:
Can I read or listen on multiple devices?
You can use up to 6 separate devices to read or listen to digital items from Overdrive, as long as the devices are authorized with the same Overdrive Account or Adobe ID.
Can I read or listen in multiple languages?
E-books are available from the Ottawa Public Library in English, French and Chinese.
Can I use Third Party E-books or Audiobooks?
E-books and Downloadable Audiobooks from third parties should work with Overdrive if the formats are EPUB or MP3. However, if the items are used on an app, you risk losing acces to these files if the app is deleted from the device.
I updated my system or app and now it's not working. What can I do?
If you have updated the system and the app is not working, the app may need to be updated as well. Check your app store for an update. If the app is updated and not working, try shutting down the device completely (not sleep mode) and restarting it after half a minute. If this does not work, you may need to delete and re-install the app on your device.
I downloaded my audiobook, but I only got the first part. Why?

Most Downloadable Audiobooks come in multiple files. In order to receive the complete Audiobook, you need to wait until all the files are downloaded, you can check this by clicking on the "show files" option of your app's menu.

I've downloaded the file, but it doesn't open. Why?
The most likely cause is that your device has not been authorized by your Overdrive Account or your Adobe ID. Verify this by selecting Settings or Account from your app menu, or by selecting Authorization Information from the Help menu of Adobe Digital Editions on your computer (in the case of E-readers).
What do these error messages mean?
There are various error messages you may encounter, requiring different solutions. To find the solution, access and search for the specific error message in question.
Can I travel with e-books and audiobooks?
If you have downloaded an E-book or Downloadable Audiobook to your device, you can travel with them anywhere. However, if you are using OverdriveRead or OverdriveListen, you will need a consistent Internet connection.
How do holds work?
If an E-Book or Downloadable Audiobook is not available to borrow, you can place a hold. This is similar to requesting physical items at the library. Be sure to include an e-mail address, if you have not done so already, so you can be notified when the item becomes available to you. You have the option to 'auto-checkout' a hold when it becomes available. Or, if you prefer to checkout the item yourself, you only have four (4) days (96 hours) to do so once a hold has been made available.
Can I suspend holds?
Yes, you can suspend your holds for a period of 7 to 90 days.
What is the Wishlist?
A wishlist is used to add titles to a list that may wish to check out later. It does not check out the item nor place a hold on it.
Can I renew ebooks and audiobooks?
If you need to renew the item that you have borrowed, you can do so within three days of the expiry date of the item.
How do I return an Overdrive eBook before its due date?

Ottawa Public Library eBooks get returned automatically once the loan period is finished so there will never be any late fees. However, if you wish to return you OPL eBook early, doing so will depend on which software/device you've used to download the eBook*. The most popular are as follows:

Adobe Digital Editions

OverDrive app for Apple iOS

OverDrive app for Android

*Note: Open PDF format eBooks cannot be returned early.

I have an appointment at the library. What do I need to bring with me?
If you have an appointment at the library to learn about using E-books and Downloadable Audiobooks, you will need your Ottawa Public Library card, the device(s) you are using, and the relevant power cords. If you have an E-reader, you will also need the USB cable and computer (laptop) with which to you connect your E-reader.
I can't find the answer to my question. What now?

If you cannot find an immediate solution to your problem, you can search or e-mail for assistance using the contacts provided on this web page:

What's new with e-books and audiobooks?

Overdrive now offers direct integration with Kobo Aura One. Learn more about Kobo devices. The Ottawa Public Library now offers express eBooks!