University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries
Carrboro Cybrary | Chapel Hill Public Library | Durham County Public Library
What You Will Learn
What is an eBook?
What is an eReader?
Lending Policies
Accessing Overdrive
Searching and Browsing
Understanding eBook Records
Using the Patron Account
For Kindles
For iPad/iPod/iPhone, Android Phones & Tablets
For Nooks
For Sony Readers
To view our full schedule, handouts, and additional tutorials, visit our website:
Last Updated November 2014
It is assumed for this class that the user is comfortable with basic computer operations as well as
basic Internet experience.
This workshop is intended for new eBook and eReader users and/or those who want to
learn about eBooks available through the Chapel Hill Public Library via Overdrive.
Please let the instructor know if you have any questions or concerns prior to starting
What You Will Learn
Familiarize you
with eBooks
Learn about
different eBook
Learn to search
and use the
Overdrive website
Download library
eBooks to your
What Are eBooks?
Short for electronic book, a book-length publication in digital form
Can be read on a computer or transferred to a device (Nook, Kindle, iPhone, etc.)
What Is an eBook Reader?
Also known as eReaders, they come in many shapes and sizes.
Amazon Kindle
Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad
Barnes & Noble Nook
Sony eReader
Features and Specifications to Consider:
eInk vs. LCD
o eInk looks like the page of a book and is not backlighted which makes it easier to
read outside but requires a reading light to read in the dark. eInk text and images
are displayed in black and white only.
o LCD screens are like reading on a computer screen. They are backlighted which
means you can read them in the dark but they are hard to read outside in sunlight.
LCD screens can display full color.
Buttons vs. Touch Screens
o Buttons: some eReaders use buttons only to navigate through its functions and
through the texts of the eBooks you are reading.
o Touch Screens: other eReaders have a touch screen instead of buttons. With the
touch screen you tap directly on the screen to select options and navigate.
o Both: there are some eReaders that have a combination of both buttons and a
touch screen that allow you to navigate in more than one way.
o eReaders vary in size quite a bit. With a larger screen you can see more text at
once however the device is larger and you may have more difficultly carrying it
o The weight of eReaders also varies. While there are some cases available that
allow you to prop up the eReader, often people hold the eReader while using it, so
weight is an important consideration.
Battery Life
o Generally eReaders with LCD screens have much shorter battery life than those
with eInk. Tablet eReaders (Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, or the iPad) do many other
things besides display text which use up a lot of power.
Wireless and 3G
o Some eReaders have the capability to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or 3G.
File Format
o Kindle Book: works with all Amazon Kindle devices. It will also work using the
Kindle app on other devices like the iPad, iPhone and Android phones.
o Adobe EPUB eBook: a file format developed specifically for eBooks, it features
adjustable fonts. The ePUB format works on the iPad, Nook, Sony, and Kobo
readers, but not the Kindle.
o Adobe PDF: a common file format for digital documents, and can also be used for
eBooks. PDF eBooks can be re-sized, but are much less customizable than ePUB
eBooks. PDF format works on the iPad, Nook, Kindle, Sony, and Kobo readers,
but not the Kindle.
Popular eReaders
Kindle by Amazon
• eInk
• Button navigation
• 6.5" x 4.5"
• 5.98 ounces
• Up to 1 month with Wi-Fi off
• Wi-Fi
• Kindle Book Format, PDF
Kindle Paperwhite (3G optional) by
• Paperwhite with built-in light
• Touch-Screen and. Button navigation
• 6.8" x 4.7"
• 7.5 ounces
• Up to 2 months with Wi-Fi off
• Wireless (or free 3G)
• Kindle Book Format, PDF
Kindle Fire Tablet by Amazon
• Touch-Screen navigation
• 7.5" x 4.7"
• 14.1 ounces
• Up to 8 hours of reading or 7.5 hours
video playback
• Wi-Fi
• Kindle Book Format, PDF
Nook Simple Touch by B&N
• eInk
• Touch-Screen and Button Navigation
• 6.5” x 5”
• 7.48 ounces
• Up to 2 months with wireless off
• Wi-Fi
• Adobe EPUB eBook Format, PDF
Nook GlowLight
• eInk
• Touch-Screen navigation
• Built-in reading light
• 6.5” x 5"
• 6.2 oz
• Up to 2 months with wireless off
• Wi-Fi
• Adobe EPUB eBook Format, PDF
Nook HD Tablet by B&N
• Touch-Screen navigation
• 7.6” x 5”
• 11.1 ounces
• Up to 10.5 hours of reading or 9
hours of video playback
• Wi-Fi
• Adobe EPUB eBook Format, PDF
• Book lending and borrowing
Sony Reader Wi-Fi by Sony
• eInk
• Touch-Screen and Button navigation
• 6.8” x 4.75”
• 5.9 ounces
• Up to 2 months with Wi-Fi off
• Wi-Fi
• Adobe EPUB eBook Format, PDF
Kobo Touch by Kobo
• eInk
• Touch-Screen navigation
• 4.5” x 6.5”
• 6.5 ounces
• Up to 1 month with Wi-Fi off
• Adobe EPUB eBook Format, PDF,
iPad with Retina Display by Apple
• Touch-Screen navigation
• 9.5” × 7.3”
• 22 ounces
• Up to 10 hours
• Wireless (or 3G for additional cost)
• PDF Format
iPad Mini by Apple
• Touch-Screen navigation
• 7.8” x 5.4”
• 10.86 ounces
• Up to 10 hours
• Wireless (or 3G for additional cost)
• PDF Format
Reading eBooks on non-eReader devices
eBooks can also be read on devices that are not exclusively eReaders by downloading the
Kindle, Nook or other reading apps. These apps are available for iPhones, iTouches, Androids,
tablets, and computers.
eBooks - Digital Rights Management
The eBooks in Overdrive employ Digital Rights Management (DRM) to enforce copyright on
titles in our library. Just like a print library book is not owned by a patron and must be returned
to the library, eBooks are owned by publishers and must be returned at the end of their
borrowing period. Library-loaned eBooks can only be copied to other devices owned by the
same patron. For the Nook, for example, one library eBook can be copied to up to 6 authorized
devices (computer, Mom’s Nook, Dad’s iPad, etc.).
Lending Policies
5 items may be checked out at a time
Length of checkout: eBooks- 7, 14, or 21 days depending on your settings and the
particular item, AudioBooks- 7 or 14 days
6 holds are allowed at a time and customers have 3 days to “pickup” the hold before it
goes to the next person.
Titles cannot be renewed, but you can check them out again after they expire if they are
still available.
When due, titles will be returned automatically which means you cannot acquire late fees
on eBooks!
Each copy may only be checked out by 1 person at a time – just like a physical book.
Titles cannot be downloaded onto public library computers, to download a book you must
use your own computer.
*Please note that these lending policies are different from those for physical books from
The Chapel Hill Public Library also has Kindles for checkout. These Kindles come preloaded
with selected titles that you may read but do not allow you to check out additional titles. This can
be a great way to try out an eReader but does not give you access to the full range of titles
available through the Overdrive website.
Accessing eBooks from the Chapel Hill Public Library website
First things first: If you have never created a PIN number for your CHPL card, you will
need to do that before you can check out eBooks! From the homepage, click on the link
on the left under In Demand that says “Create/Reset your PIN.”
This will take you to a PIN FAQs page. Follow the directions listed for creating a PIN,
and you should be all set. Here are the instructions:
eBooks cannot be located through the main library catalog. There is a separate website
known as Overdrive that you can use to search and access eBooks. CHPL is a member of
the NC Digital Library consortium, which means that there are more than just CHPL
patrons who are checking out the same eBooks that you are.
To begin using Overdrive to check out eBooks, visit and click
on the “eLibrary” link.
Once you have clicked on the eLibrary link, you can select either eBooks or eAudio
Books to get started. (Both options will take you to the same page).
Next, follow the NC Digital Library link:
• You can also access this Overdrive site directly by entering the following URL in your
address bar:
Below is the homepage you will see when you go navigate to the Overdrive website. *Note the
Help option – this is available on every page in Overdrive.
*Note: If you are not logged in while you are browsing, you may see titles that are
unavailable to your library’s subscription.
Some items allow you to preview a sample of them. Just like you would be able to flip through
the pages of a book at a physical library, you can look at a brief sample of some of the NC
Digital Library books. To do this, click on the sample option of a selected book.
Searching and Browsing
There are several ways to search for eBooks.
Keyword searching by author, title, or subject in the top search bar will yield results based on
your search.
Once search results have been returned, you can click the button “Available Now” found on the
left side of your screen to only see results that you will be able to check out.
Advanced searching is available by clicking “Advanced Search” in the top search bar. You will
get a lot of advanced searching options, but remember, you do not have to fill all of them out.
One helpful option is to search by Format here - only showing Kindle Books, for example. To do
this, click the arrow in the box that says for “all formats” and select Kindle Book.
Browsing the Overdrive website can also be a useful way to discover books. You can browse
within the major categories. If you do not see the browse menu, click the “Menu” icon at the top
right of the screen. Then click on one of the options listed to browse. When you click on a
category, the browse page will look the same as a search results page.
Understanding eBook Records
Above is an example of an eBook record on the Overdrive website. The important things to note
when looking at a record are the available formats, number of available copies, and number of
library copies.
Available formats give you the list of formats that this particular eBook is available to be
checked out as. This example is available as a Kindle Book, and OverDrive Read book, and an
Adobe EPUB eBook.
Available copies show the number of copies of the eBook available for checkout. If the number
is 0, then all copies are checked out.
Library copies show the number of copies owned by the NC Digital Library consortium in total.
If you are already signed in, and a book has one or more available copies, you will see a
“Borrow” button, which you can click on to check it out. If a book has 0 copies available, you
will see a “Place a Hold” button instead. More details on placing holds are included below.
If you’re not signed in, you’ll see the button that says “Sign in for Availability.” If you’d like to
check out the book, you should click there.
Using the Patron Account
To check out eBooks, you will need to login to your patron account.
Click on “Sign In” in the top right corner. You will then need to select your library from the list,
which of course is Chapel Hill Public Library. Once you have done that, click “Go” to sign in
with your library card number and PIN. Since we went through how to set your PIN earlier, you
should know what it is and be able to login.
After signing in, you will be able to access the “My Account” page with access to your
Bookshelf, Holds, Lists, and Settings.
Bookshelf shows you what you have checked out; from here you can click the “Download” link
to download it onto your personal computer or device in the correct format. If the OverDrive
Read option is available as a format, you can click on that link to read the book in your browser.
Once you’ve signed in to your account, you can also place holds.
If you click on the “Place a Hold” link on a checked out book that you’d like to request, it will
prompt you to enter your email address so that you can be notified via email when the title is
available for you to checkout.
Holds (found under “Account”) will list the books you have placed on hold. A preview of each
book will show you how many people are ahead of you on the hold list, how many copies your
library has, where you will be notified by email when the book is available, and whether or not
you have autocheckout on—autocheckout will automatically check out a book to you if you are
on hold for it and it comes available.
Lists include several different types of lists:
When you see a book that you’d like to read, but you’re not ready just yet, you can add it to your
Wish List so that you can easily find it later. You can rate titles, recommend titles to your library
for purchase, and you can view a list of recommended titles for you that is based on your
previous checkouts.
Settings include a few options:
You can change your lending periods for different formats, and you can also set maturity levels.
If you only want juvenile material to show up in your searches, then you can set that limiter.
Also, you can change the contrast of the website—if you find it easier to read light colored text
on a dark background, that is what this will change.
The process of downloading eBooks to devices differs significantly for each device. The
following directions are a summary of the process.
The download process for Kindle requires a computer and a Kindle. For the Kindle Fire, the
entire process can be done on the device. No software is required for the process, so it can be
done from any computer with an internet connection (including library terminals).
*There are some Kindle downloads which require you to download the book through a USB
cable or onto a USB key due to publisher restrictions. If this is the case for a title you are
checking out it will be noted on the checkout and download screens.
Once you have checked out a book, you will find it in your Bookshelf. From there, you will have
the option to choose which format you’d like to download. Choose Kindle Book, then click
“Confirm and Download.”
At this point, you will be automatically redirected to your Amazon account. Click the “Get
library book” button. You will then be prompted to login and select the Kindle device or Kindle
reading app that you will be using.
You should a confirmation that looks like this:
At this point, the process should be complete. The book has been delivered to your Kindle, but
may not show up there if the Kindle is connected to 3G internet. The Kindle needs to be
connected to wi-fi in order to get the library book. It may be necessary to disconnect from 3G
(through the Kindle “settings” menu) and manually connect to a wi-fi network to do this.
Finally, first generation Kindles don’t have wi-fi, only 3G internet. For these Kindles, you’ll
need to click the “Download Now” button to download the book and transfer it manually to your
Kindle using the USB cable. Refer to Amazon’s instructions to do this:
To return a Kindle e-book before its expiration, go to "Manage Your Kindle" from Amazon's
website. Select the "Actions" dropdown next to the title you want to return. Select "Return the
book," and hit yes. The title will remain on your Kindle until you re-sync the Kindle with your
Amazon account. Even after you return the book, its title will still display in your Kindle
Library list, because Amazon likes to show you your reading history. To remove it from this list,
select Actions again, and choose "Delete from library."
iPad/iPod/iPhone, Android Phones & Tablets
To download public library eBooks to an iPad (and other smartphones and Android tablets), you
will need the device and a wi-fi or 3G connection.
First, download the free OverDrive Media Console App. You can do this by searching the Apple
App Store (or equivalent app store for other devices) for “OverDrive Media Console”.
Open the app once it has downloaded. Select “Get Books” and then “Add Library”.
Search for “Chapel Hill Public Library” or “North Carolina Digital Library” and select the
Chapel Hill Public Library. Click on the star to save the library to your “Get Books” list.
You will now be seeing the NC Digital Library Overdrive mobile website. Login, choose a title
to download, and then add the ePUB format eBook to your Cart.
Check out, then download the eBook. You will be prompted to enter your Adobe ID (you will
only have to do this once). Adobe IDs can be created for free at:
After entering your Adobe ID, the download process will begin and your book will be listed.
To return eBooks early, swipe across the title of the book (from left to right or right to left). You
will see a dialog box like what you see below. Tap on “Return and Delete”.
Downloading eBooks for the Nook readers requires a device and a computer (for the Nook
Tablet the entire process can be done on the device, see above instructions). Please note that the
complete process of downloading eBooks to Nook readers cannot be accomplished on public
library computers, since it involves downloading software to the computer.
You will first need to download and install Adobe Digital Editions. On the Overdrive website,
click on the Help button and choose “Applications” from the available options. Next, choose
“Adobe Digital Editions.”
You will be redirected to the Adobe website. Download Adobe Digital Editions to install this
program on your computer.
Create an Adobe ID when prompted during the
installation process. Without it, you will not be
able to transfer eBooks to your Nook.
Check out and download an ePUB or PDF
eBook from the Overdrive website. After
clicking the download link, you will be
prompted to open the eBook using Adobe
Digital Editions.
Once the eBook has opened in Adobe Digital
Editions, plug in your Nook. Adobe Digital
Editions will detect the device and add it the
left hand panel. Make sure you are in “Library
View” (bookshelf icon in upper left-hand corner) to see your device. Drag and drop the eBook
from the library to the device.
Eject and unplug your Nook. Your eBook will now be in your library on your Nook. If it is not
appearing on the main Library screen, go to Library  My Files  Digital Editions to find it.
To return eBooks early, move your mouse over the eBook in Adobe Digital Editions on your
computer. Click on the small arrow in the upper left-hand corner that appears. Then click
“Return Borrowed Item”.
Sony Reader
Downloading eBook for the Sony Reader requires a device and a computer. Please note that the
complete process of downloading eBooks to the Sony reader cannot be accomplished on public
library computers. There are two methods of downloading eBooks to the Sony Reader: using
Sony’s Reader Library software, and using Adobe Digital Editions.
Using Reader Library:
Plug in Sony Reader and run Reader Library Setup (if you don’t already have it).
Download an eBook from the Overdrive website. You will automatically be prompted to open it
with Reader Library.
Connect the Sony Reader to your computer. Once the device appears in the left-hand panel, drag
and drop the eBook to the device.
Eject and unplug the Sony Reader. Your eBook should appear on the screen.
Using Adobe Digital Editions:
Follow the directions for downloading eBooks for Nook readers. Drag and drop the eBook to the
Sony Reader after plugging it in.
Project Gutenberg eBooks are books whose copyright has expired and are now in the public
domain. The over 34,000 Project Gutenberg eBooks available through the Overdrive website
includes many classics, most books published before 1923, as well as some more recent titles.
These books are always available through the Overdrive website, and there are unlimited copies.
Project Gutenberg eBooks also have no DRM attached to them, so they can be checked out
indefinitely and copied freely.
Clicking on the above link in the lower left side of the Overdrive website will allow you to
search Project Gutenberg eBooks. Please note that these titles will not show up through the main
search and must be accessed through the link shown above. Also note that Project Gutenberg
eBooks are not available to the Kindle through the Overdrive website, although they can be
accessed by Kindle users by going to Project Gutenberg’s website: is a large collection of free online resources for North Carolinians. There are a
large number of eBooks available for use through NC LIVE, but they must be read on a
computer and cannot be transferred to eReaders. NC LIVE can be accessed by going directly to
their website at or via the Chapel Hill Public Library’s website under “eLibrary.”
These eBooks can be accessed by selecting your library and entering your library card number.
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