Library eBooks 101

Getting Started

Thank you for your interest in the library's eBooks!  For help setting up your compatible device with the required software and logins you can use OverDrive's Setup Wizard, read through the tutorials for the iPad, Kindle and Nook, attend an eBook class at the library, visit us for drop-in eBook tutoring hours, or schedule an eBook appointment:

Setup Wizard Tutorials on Popular eReaders Take a Class Drop-in Tutoring
and Appointments

 

A Little eBook Background

If you are new to the library's eBooks and would like to know more about them, we will go over a few basics in the following paragraphs. If you have been reading eBooks on your Newton or Palm since the 1990's, you probably want to skip ahead to the setup wizard.

The Palos Verdes Library District offers 2 types of eBooks through the eBook catalog:

  • written for reading (eBooks)
  • spoken for listening (eAudio books)

These 2 types of downloadable books come in a few formats:

  • eBooks are available in the "open" PDF or ePub formats
    • eBooks are also available in Amazon's proprietary "Kindle Book" format per publisher approval
  • eAudio books are available in MP3 or WMA format

Why There Aren't Unlimited Copies of eBooks

In compliance with copyright law, the library purchases eBooks much like it purchases books on library shelves - the biggest difference is that libraries choose a software company, OverDrive in this case, which provides a publisher-approved method to check out eBooks. Ultimately, the software company provides a couple services to publishers, guaranteeing that loaned out library books are only shared one at a time (just like books on a shelf) and providing a platform where libraries can purchase eBooks for their communities.  This is important for publishers since inventory control keeps them in business (especially in the digital age where piracy is common) and it is important for libraries so that they can purchase and loan copyrighted eBooks without violating U.S. and international copyright laws.

Why You Don't Have to Return eBooks to the Library

PVLD loans out the purchased eBooks to PVLD library card holders using OverDrive's technology by having users type in their library card number and using a system of logins and software to "stamp" the eBook with a due date.  Similar to a timebomb, the due date is an expiration date placed on the eBook and when the date is reached, the eBook self-destructs or stops working so it cannot be read or played aloud.  A positive byproduct of this system is that there is no need to return the eBook and there are never any late fees. On the flipside, the expired eBook isn't self-cleaning, so the eBook file remains unreadable on the device until you remove it (see your device's manual on how to remove files).

Setting Up

So that's all you really need to know about library eBooks, let's move on to the next step where we use a setup wizard that tells us customized information about which software and login credentials are needed to successfully download a library eBook to your device.

Setup Wizard