March 9, 2010

Read an E-Book Week: OverDrive

Today we continue celebrating Read an E-Book Week by profiling OverDrive, a vendor that supplies ebooks to the Troy Public Library.

Like NetLibrary, OverDrive features a variety of ebooks that cover many different subjects. It includes many recent bestsellers such as Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and Game Change by John Heilemann. OverDrive offers ebooks in EPUB, Adobe PDF, and Mobipocket format. Ebooks in OverDrive are not always available. Instead, they function like physical books in a library. If someone already has an ebook checked out that you wish to view, you must place that ebook on hold. When it is available, you will get an email notifying you that it is ready to be checked out.

Additionally, OverDrive ebooks are not viewable directly within your browser. In order to view them, they must be checked out and downloaded to your computer. After checking out an OverDrive ebook, be sure to download and install the appropriate software so that you can view the ebook. This software is free, and a download link is provided when you check out an ebook. When you have the correct software installed, you can then download and read the ebook on your computer.

An advantage of OverDrive ebooks is that many of them can be transferred to eReaders such as the Barnes and Noble nook and Sony Readers. While this process is relatively straightforward, each device does have different software requirements. If you are having problems, OverDrive does have an extensive help menu to answer questions you may have.

When searching for an ebook in OverDrive, the basic search allows you to search by title or creator. If you want to search by a specific ebook format, you will need to use the advanced search feature. Advanced search also lets you search by language, publisher, subject, and more. It also features a check box that lets you limit your search to items that have copies that are available to be checked out. This is helpful if you want to check out an ebook immediately and don’t want to have to put an item on hold.

Like all eResources provided by the Troy Library, you will need a valid Troy Library card to be able to use OverDrive. To get started, go to, click on the "Downloadable Audiobooks, Video" link, and select OverDrive.

Additionally, OverDrive is currently running a contest to help celebrate Read an E-Book week. Just go here, read the post, and leave a comment about the OverDrive ebook you are currently reading and where you downloaded it from. The winner will receive various goodies from OverDrive. Good luck!

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