eBooks Frequently Asked Questions

eBooks Frequently Asked Questions Resource Guide

How do I see what e-books are available from the library?
From our ebooks page, click on the link to Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium (provided by OverDrive).
You may search by title or author. You can browse only eBooks by choosing the "eBook Fiction" or "eBook Nonfiction" categories on the left side of the page. In "Advanced Search," you can limit your search to only PDF, EPUB, or Kindle format. You can also click on the option to only show titles that are available immediately.

Is my device compatible with Maryland’s Digital eLibrary?
Most e-reader devices, like Barnes & Noble's Nook, the Sony Reader and now the Amazon Kindle, will work with Overdrive's e-books. Smartphones that use the following operating systems should work: Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows. Tablets that run Android, Blackberry, or iOS should work. You can find out more about compatible devices at Overdrive's Device Resource Center .

Do I need to install software?
All devices except the Amazon Kindle need to install software.

To use your computer to download ebooks to any device except a Kindle, you will need to install one piece of software: Adobe Digital Editions. Once you have downloaded and installed Adobe Digital Editions, you will need to authenticate the software and get an Adobe ID.

To use your mobile device to read OverDrive ebooks, you will need to install the OverDrive Media Console app. To read Adobe EPUB books, you will need to register your device with an Adobe ID.

Links to download these free programs are available on the left side of the main page of Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium.

Are there any special instructions for Kindle owners?
eBook downloads will be handled through your Amazon account, not Adobe Digital Editions or OverDrive Media Console. For information on transferring , downloading, and sending files to Kindle, see http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200728710

The basic steps for transferring a Kindle Book via USB are:

  • Connect the Kindle to the computer with the USB cable.
  • Log into your Amazon account.
  • Under the Kindle heading, select Manage Your Kindle.
  • Find the Actions… button to the right of the book you wish to transfer.
  • Hover the mouse on the Actions… button and select Download & transfer via USB.

Please note: Books published by Penguin cannot be transferred wirelessly to Kindles with wifi capability, and must be transferred via USB. This is a stipulation of Penguin Group publishing.

Where can I get help using the library ebooks?

For more information, there’s an extensive help section. Look on the red bar across the top of the screen and click on the button marked “Help.” For device-specific guides to getting started with Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium, look for the “My Help!” link.

Can I return my ebooks early?
Most of the ebooks can be returned early. The exception is Disney Online Books (browser-based Children's books designed for reading on a computer or laptop), which cannot be returned before their due date. To return ebooks early with Adobe Digital Editions, see:

To return a Kindle eBook early, you will need to log into your Amazon account and manage your Kindle library. There will be an “actions” drop-down next to each book. Select “Return This Book” and then, after returning the book, select “Delete from library” to remove it. (If you delete a book first, it will be removed from your personal Kindle library, but not returned to the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium and taken off your library account.)

To return ebooks/audiobooks early in the OverDrive app:

  • Press the plus sign icon to the right of the title of the audiobook/ebook you wish to return.
  • Press the button for Return/Delete.
  • Select the option for Return, then Delete.

How long is the loan period for downloadable ebooks?
Ebooks may be checked out for seven, fourteen or twenty-one days. By default the check-out period is fourteen days, but you may change the loan period to seven or twenty-one days when you check out.

Will my ebook expire at the end of the loan period?
Yes, you will no longer be able to open your ebook when the loan period ends.

How many ebooks can I check out at once?
You can check out a total of six items from OverDrive at one time, including both audiobooks and ebooks.

Which ebook reader should I buy?
Check out the recommendations given by ConsumerSearch's eBook Reader review sources:

They also include reviews of tablet PCs:

FCPL staff will be happy to help you find more consumer information if you contact us or visit one of our library branches.