How-tos: Checking out eBooks

Since we first started offering eBooks last year, there has been one question that reigns supreme; how do you check out an eBook? When you look at all the options available to you, and trying to figure out your device, the whole task can be quite intimidating. So we put this little guide together to help you check out eBooks.

Where to start

Online_Catalog

The first place you will want to start is at our catalog. If you don’t know how to get there, go to our website and click the “Search Our Catalog” button. If you need more help using the catalog, check out this past post. You will need to log in using your library card number and phone number/password.

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Once you’ve gotten that first accomplished, it is time to look for your first eBook. You have two different options to use. The first, and probably the easiest, is to simply look in our catalog. The list of OverDrive eBooks (and audiobooks) are integrated straight into our catalog. Just like with regular books, the eBooks will appear green when there is a copy available and when it is pink there is not one. The second option is to go directly to OverDrive by clicking the icon on our catalog.

Before you check out a book

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By default, the check out period of all eBooks is one week (7 days), but you can change that limit. We suggest that you extend it to the max of 14 days. This will give you plenty of time to finish your book. However, if you can read your book in a week, you don’t have to mess with this.

Checking out an eBook

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Now that you are set up to check out a book, it’s time to actually check out a book. Once you find a book to read, move your mouse over the book and click the “Borrow” button. If you would like to find out a little more about the book first, you can click on the books title (not the book cover). Once you do that, you will receive a summary of the book with a big “Borrow” button right next to the cover.

Reading the eBook

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In order to read your eBook, you have a few different options.

No Device

If you do not have a mobile device, or eBook reader, you have the option to read the book through your Internet browser. This is probably the easiest way to access your new eBook

Kindles

This is probably the second easiest way to access your eBook. Simply choose the Kindle book as your chosen download type. You will then be taken to Amazon’s website, where you will have to log into your Amazon account. Once you are there, you can tell Amazon on what device you would like to have your eBook sent to. If you have another (non-Kindle) device with a Kindle app downloaded to it, the process is exactly the same as if you had a Kindle.

Other Devices

The other option for reading your eBook is a ePub book. These books can be read on all other devices (iOS, Android, Windows, Nook, etc). In order to read these books on your devices, it is best to download the OverDrive Media Console app. Doing it this way, you will also have to set up an OverDrive account. This is a simple process, but it adds extra steps to the process. If you have a Nook (not a Nook Tablet), the process is a little more complicated. So check out this post on the OverDrive website to find out how to do it.

Done reading the book?

IMG_0027If you are finished reading your book early, you can return your item early. If you are reading the book through your web browser, simply go to your bookshelf. Underneath the rating for your title, there is aΒ buttonΒ to “Return Title”. If you are using a non-Kindle device, push and hold on the book cover and an option will appear to return the book.Β If you are using a Kindle, you will have to log into your Amazon account to return the book.

If you’d like to have someone walk you through this post, check out this video:

UPDATE: (7/06/2015)Β After you checkout a book, you will now have to go to your bookshelf to download/read the book. OverDrive no longer automatically takes you to your bookshelf when you check an item out.

How-tos: Online Catalog

We have had lots of questions over the years asking for help with the online catalog. So I though I would write a post showing you how to use this great resource you have from the Library.

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What is an online catalog?

Our online catalog is the “one-stop shop” for everything you have access to at the Library. It simply looks different from all the lovely faces you get to see when you comeΒ in the library. On our catalog you can see what books and movies the library has, access all of the online databases we have, and even manage your own account online (e.g. renew your items, place items on hold, or update your contact information). You can get to our catalog by visiting our website, and clicking on the button “Search Our Catalog”.

Getting a look around

I’ll just warn you right now. We are going to be looking at lots of pictures, so you know exactly what I am talking about.

First up is the search bar!
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The search bar is probably the tool you will use most frequently. When you are looking for something, or simply want to browse; type in a search term (just like on Google) and watch as you are exposed to all of our materials that match your terms.

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Without logging in, all you can do is look at our materials. If you wish to actually access anything, you have to login. Simply fill in the information and click the “LOG IN” button. You will need your Library card number (which you will find on your card) and your phone number (don’t worry about the area code if it is “765”). Our system also allows you to set up a password, if you don’t want to use you phone number.
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Curious about what we have new? You have a couple different areas to figure that out. First is the New Items carousel (we’ll get to the other in a minute). It’s right up front, and you probably noticed this first. It moves pictures of book jackets around to display what we have recently added into our system. See one that looks interesting? Click it and it will take you directly to the item.

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If you want to know what are the most popular or newest materials in the Library, visitΒ the “What’s Hot”Β section of the catalog. The “Most Popular” tab gives a display of the items that are currently being searched for, placed on hold, and checked out most frequently. The “What’s New” tab is the other way for you to see what’s new. However, this allows you to look back even farther than the carousel does (up to 2 months!).

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The last section that you will notice is a list of all the available online resources, you have access to from the library. You must be logged in to use any of these databases, but they do offer a wide range of information.

Searching for an item

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When you are looking for an item, simply go to the search bar. Once you are there, type in what you are looking for. The system will then search over all of our records to find items that fit your search terms (like a Google for the library!). You will probably see a whole list of items, some you may not think fit. If you have a little more of a specific vision for what you are looking for, you can use the drop-down menu to search by: “Title Starts With”, “Title Phrase”, “Author”, or “Subject”. Another post will be coming later to show you how to get better results.

I’ve found it, now what?

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When you find an item that you want to get, you will notice that it is highlighted in either green or pink. If it is green, that means that we have a copy available here at the library. If it is pink, that means that all of our copies are checked out. Either way, click on the item and it will give you all the information about it. Click on the “Reserve this item” button, and we will get it ready for you as soon as possible.

Check out this video walk-through of the online catalog: