eBooks
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Frequently asked questions about eBooks
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BASIC CHECKOUT POLICY

What is needed in order to download an eBook title?

  • A valid library card – your card must not be expired and fines must be below $3.00
  • Access to the Internet
  • Depending on the format you choose, you may need free software for the device or computer on which you wish to use OverDrive items
  • A valid email address so you can be notified when your titles on hold are available for download.

Is there a fee to borrow eBooks and downloadable audiobooks?

There is no fee to borrow eBooks and downloadable audiobooks with your valid Calaveras County Library card.  The OverDrive application is also free.

Will I accumulate overdue fines?

Because the titles are automatically returned, you will never be charged overdue fees.

How many titles can I check out?

You can have 8 titles checked out at any time.  It can be 8 eBooks or any combination of downloadable audiobooks and eBooks totaling eight items in all.

How long do I keep titles?

You can set your own default lending period.  Sign into your Account and choose Settings to change your default lending options.  You have the options to set defaults to 7, 14 or 21 days.

How do I return items?

For the majority of titles, at the end of the loan period the title expires and is automatically returned to the Library. 

With most devices, you can also return an item early. Doing so will be appreciated by other library users who may be waiting for that particular title.  It will also help you stay under the 8 item digital checkout limit.   See OverDrive’s “Help” page. 

I don’t see my eBook checkouts and holds when I log into my Calaveras County Library account.  Why aren’t they listed?

Account information, including checkouts and holds, from the Northern California Digital Library, is handled by OverDrive, the provider of our eBook service.  At this time, they have no way to integrate eBook account information into the Calaveras County Library account system.

Does the library lend out eReaders?

No, the Library does not lend eReaders.

Can I renew my titles?

If a title is available to renew, the renew option will appear within 3 days of the title’s expiration date.

 

HOW DO I BROWSE AND BORROW eBOOKS?

Browse the collection from the Northern California Digital Library page.  You will be directed to this page from the eBook icon on the Calaveras Library website at www.calaveraslibrary.com. The Digital Library page is frequently updated with changing featured titles.  You can search for a specific title using the Search box at the top right of the page or choose Advanced Search to limit to certain formats, subjects or availability. 

How is a downloadable audiobook different from an eBook?

A downloadable audiobook is a voice recording of text being read.  You listen to an audiobook and read an eBook.  The audiobooks are noted by a headphone icon.  eBooks are noted with the book icon.

Why do you often have books from bestseller lists in audiobook format, but not eBook?  Why can’t I sometimes find the most current new releases in eBook format?

Often we do not have the newest and most popular titles in the eBook format.  This is because some publishers do not make eBooks available to license until a few months after the titles are released. 

When we purchase the license to a title, not only are we licensing the actual content, we are licensing the rights to “lend” that book out to our patrons for a limited number of checkouts.  So, even when a title is available through Amazon, for example, it does not mean we have yet been granted the rights, as a library, to purchase and lend these eBooks.   Libraries are currently trying to negotiate with publishers and library vendors to get more immediate access to digital content, because we know that is what our users want. 

How do I find eBooks that are available now, with no holds?

To find eBooks that are immediately available, with no hold list, select the “Available Now” option.  Items that are currently available will have their book/headphone icon in black.  Items with a shaded gray icon are currently not available.

You may also be interested in the collection of “Always Available” public domain eBooks, which have unlimited copies and no holds. 

Clicking on a book’s cover will access the item record, giving you more information and the availability to borrow the title.  Click on “Borrow” to begin checkout or click “Place Hold” to access the waiting list.   If you are not already logged in, it will prompt you to do so at this time.  Once the title has been borrowed, you can either download to a particular device or read it directly in the browser (when available). 

What is the difference between Kindle Books, EPUB eBooks and PDF eBooks?

Kindle Books are specifically formatted for use by the Amazon Kindle and Kindle apps.  Please select this format if you wish to read the eBook on these devices.

EPUB eBooks have reflowable text, which means that if you resize the text or change the font of the eBook, the text will “reflow” to fill the screen. 

PDF eBooks preserve the layout of complex documents, including any charts and illustrations. However, because of this they do not "reflow" their text as well as EPUB eBooks. Therefore, you may notice page breaks in odd places when reading these eBooks on an eReader device. Because they are not optimized for small screens, PDF eBooks cannot be downloaded using the OverDrive Media Console for mobile devices

Check OverDrive’s Device Resource Center to see what formats are compatible with your particular device.  (Note that EPUB and PDF eBooks are not compatible with the Amazon Kindle.)

Do I need special software to read the eBooks?

OverDrive “Read” titles do NOT require special software.  They are browser-based eBooks.  Depending on the format of the book and your device, you may need to download the OverDrive app, or the Kindle reading app or Adobe Digital Editions software.

 

HOLDS

I want a title that is checked out.  What do I do?

If all available copies of a title are checked out, you must place your name on a waiting list:  “Place a Hold.”  Within an item’s record you can see the number of “Available Copies” and the number of “Library Copies”  If there are no copies available, the “Borrow” button is replaced by “Place a Hold.”  You will need an email address to be notified that the hold is ready. 

Why do I have to place a hold for an eBook?  If these are electronic, why aren’t there unlimited copies available?

Most publishers require that library eBooks are offered to only one person per copy at a time, similar to how physical books are checked out.  They feel that this restriction helps maintain their profitability. 

What happens when I place an item on hold?

When the title you placed on hold becomes available, you will get an email with instructions to check the item out.  The item will be held for 72 hours from the time of your email notification.  If you do not check the item out within 72 hours, it will become available for the next person in the hold queue. 

If you miss the 72 hour hold time, you may check the item out if it is available, or place another hold.

How many items can I have on hold at one time?

You may have 8 items on hold at one time.

How do I cancel a hold?

·        Choose the “Account” button.

·        Log in to your account.

·        Click the “Holds” link.

·        Click the “Remove” button next to the title.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Why can’t an eBook or downloadable audiobook be lent to multiple users at one time?

OverDrive, our provider for downloadable audiobooks and eBooks, works with authors and publishers to set the parameters for the number of downloads offered to public libraries based on licensing agreements and digital copyrights.  As with physical books, we must purchase additional copies of an eBook to allow multiple concurrent downloads.

Do the Library’s eBooks cost the same as eBooks sold on Amazon or other eBook sites?

eBook retailers charge the Library more for eBooks than an individual customer would pay from a site like Amazon.  This is because publishers know the Library will circulate an eBook multiple times, while individuals usually purchase eBooks for single use. 

Can I donate a used eBook to the Library?

No.  Due to licensing agreements and digital copyright restrictions, eBooks purchased by individuals are not eligible for use at public libraries.

To help the eBook collection grow, cash donations can be used to make additional purchases.

Why doesn’t the Library have the newest book by my favorite author?

Not all releases are available for sale to the library market.  Some publishers have been reluctant to sell to the library market and do not offer sales of new titles through OverDrive.

What is OverDrive Listen?

OverDrive Listen is a streaming audiobook player that works on computers, tablets, and mobile devices with compatible web browsers.

How do I start using OverDrive Listen?

To get started, borrow an audiobook that’s available in the OverDrive Listen format.  Then click or tap the “Listen” button on your Bookshelf to begin listening to it immediately.

What are some features of OverDrive Listen?

Using OverDrive Listen you can change your playback speed, add bookmarks and make notes and highlights in borrowed audiobooks.

Whenever you return to an OverDrive Listen audiobook, whether it’s during your current lending period or if you borrow the same audiobook in the future, your place, bookmarks, notes and highlights will be saved.

Can I use OverDrive Listen without an Internet connection?

NO.  OverDrive Listen is a streaming audiobook player, so you will need an active Internet connection while you use it.

NOTE:  Using OverDrive Listen, can consume a lot of data, so if you are on a mobile plan with a data cap, it is recommended you use a Wi-Fi connection when streaming on your mobile device to avoid data overages.

What if I have technical questions or problems?

Extensive help files are available via the “Help” link.  Click on the Enjoy eBook icon at the Library website.  This takes you to the Northern California Digital Library site.  In the upper right there is a ? “Help”    Select this and choose “OverDrive Help”.  The troubleshooting icon at the bottom of the page may help answer your question.

You can also use the “Support” link to send questions via email. 

One-on-one assistance to learn how to use eBooks is available by appointment.  Call 754-6510 to set up an appointment.