How To Borrow E-Books From Your Local Library

It’s one of the best free services available for the digital age…and also one of the most underutilized. Thousands of public libraries through the U.S. now allow you to download e-books completely free-of-charge, just like borrowing a print title.

There are several different ways to borrow e-books but perhaps the easiest – and by far the most popular – is via the OverDrive Media Console app.

Here’s how it works:

  • Visit the app store for your particular device and download the OverDrive app. It’s available for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), as well as Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kindle, and even Macs and Windows PCs.
  • Find your local library using the OverDrive ‘Get Books’ Feature.
  • Browse your library’s digital book collection until you find something you want.
  • Check out using your local library card or PIN number.
  • Download the e-book directly to your chosen device.
  • Be sure to note the lending period and finish your book while it’s still available on your device.

If your chosen book is already checked out, then you can join a waiting list and you will be notified when it’s available. Most libraries also keep additional e-book titles that are outside of the normal lending arrangements. These often include classics and other DRM-free titles. In many cases, you can download these books on a permanent basis with no lending restrictions.

While OverDrive is by far the most popular e-lending service, it is by no means the only one. Freading, Aldiko, OneClickdigital (audiobooks) and Fregal Music are just some of the alternatives.

If you love books but can’t afford the increasing cost of print books or downloading titles from Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and more, then borrowing e-books from your local library is a great way to go.

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