E-Book FAQs

Can two people with different library card numbers use the same device?

Yes. If you're using a device that requires Adobe Digital Editions (anything but Kindle), the email used to register the device and the email address used for Adobe Digital Editions must match.

Can I put my e-book on more than one device?

If the two devices are the same or similar, then the answer is probably yes. 

For example, if you download an e-book to a Kindle, then you could also read it on your Kindle app or another Kindle, but you would not be able to read it on a Nook. If you download e-books from a free site and use a common file format, like pdf or epub, you could download your e-book to multiple devices. The Kindle file format can only be read on Kindle devices and apps.

Can you tell me which e-reader I should buy?

While we cannot tell you which e-reader to buy, we can help you determine which e-readers might fit your needs. 

The most popular e-readers are: Amazon KindlesBarnes and Noble Nooks, and Kobo eReaders

If you already have a tablet, such as an iPad, or a smartphone, then you can download and install e-reader apps from your device's app store without purchasing an additional device. 

If you would like additional help, Picking An E-Reader provides a list of factors to consider when buying an e-reader. You can also review our e-reader comparison charts for a side-by-side comparison.

Do I need to download special software to check out or read e-books?

To read e-books from the library on your tablet or smartphone, you must have either the Overdrive Media Console App or the Kindle App. Because some books will not be available in the Kindle specific format, it is recommended you download both.

To read e-books from the library on your computer, you must have Adobe Digital Editions or use Overdrive Read in a compatible web browser.

To read e-books from the library on your Kindle, you do not need to download additional software.

To read e-books from the library on your Nook or another e-ink e-reader, you must have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer.

Can you check out the e-book for me and put it on my device? Is there a computer at the library I can use to do this?

Library staff members can help you check out an e-book, but due to policy, cannot do it for you. However, we can work with you and provide you with guides, cheat sheets, and videos that will also be helpful.

If you have a Nook or other e-reader that requires books to be transferred via a USB cable, then you can check out the books on a library computer, but you will need to connect your e-reader to your personal computer in order to transfer the books. If you have a tablet, Kindle Fire, or smartphone, then you can checkout and download e-books all from your device and don't need to use a computer.

Do I have to come into the library to check out an e-book?

To check out an e-book from the library, you will need a valid library card number and access to Overdrive - either the app or the website. You will not need to come into the library to check out e-books; everything can be done remotely, e.g., from a computer or other device that can connect to the Internet.

If you do not yet have a library card, you will have to go to your local library to sign up. 

Can I listen to e-audiobooks on my e-reader?

Not on dedicated e-readers, but you can on tablets (including Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and iPad) and on smartphones using the Overdrive app. 

Are all books in the library catalog available as e-books?

No. Each publisher decides which books they want to provide in e-book format. Not all publishers provide e-books and, of those that do, not all books sold by a publisher are available in e-book formats.

How long can I keep an e-book I checkout from a library?

You can set your e-book checkout period to 7 or 14 days under My Account in Overdrive. If no one has a hold on the item, you can also renew for up to 14 more days.

How many e-books can I check out from the library?

  • Overdrive: 10 e-books or e-audiobooks can be borrowed at one time. You can have up to 10 holds at one time.
  • OneClickDigital: 10 e-audiobooks can be borrowed at one time.
  • Hoopla: 8 checkouts per month
  • Freegal: 3 downloads per week (that are yours to keep) and 5 hours of streaming per day

Amazon Kindle E-books and Public Libraries

Amazon works with public libraries in a unique way. For details, Amazon has provided information on how to find public library books for Kindle, how to check out a public library e-book for Kindle, and provides a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. 

What is an .acsm file and what do I do with it?

Files with an ".acsm" extension are associated with Adobe Digital Editions. It means "Adobe Content Server Message" and controls the digital rights management (DRM) of the file being downloaded.In the case of e-books, when you download an e-book from OverDrive, you are sent an .acsm file. When you double-click it or open it into Adobe Digital Editions, the file recognizes your rights to the e-book and downloads it to your computer.