OverDrive Instructions

Download Books onto an iPad/iPhone from the Library

Instructions are for the iPad (full size or mini) or an iPhone. You can do the same thing on other devices using similar steps. If you would like a printable PDF version with images showing you details, go to Printable OverDrive Instructions with pics.

Getting Started

  1. Get a library card from the Nancy Carol Roberts or Houston Library (or both). Find the number on the card. Even if you do not live in Houston, you can get a card; however, you have to physically “visit” any of the branches of the library to do so.
  2. Download from the Itunes store the app called OverDrive. It’s a free download, but you will need your password to get into Itunes.
  3. Once it is downloaded, open Overdrive on your iPad.
  4. It may ask for you to create an Adobe login. Do this. It requires your email address and a password. There is no cost and you will only do it once.
  5. The Overdrive window will appear. Click on the plus next to Add a library. Key a library’s name into the search line such as Nancy or Houston. Select the library you want. Click on the star to select it. It will now be added to your list of libraries. You may enter as many as you want.
  6. Click on the arrow in the upper left corner to return to the Overdrive list. Select the library. A new screen opens. In the upper right corner is a Sign In. Click on it.
  7. A new screen appears for you to enter your library card number (and perhaps your phone number). Fill in the information. Click on the box below the Sign In button to tell it to remember your login information.
  8. Once you have completed these steps, you do not need to do this again. Instead, just use the steps on the following pages.
  9. Open Overdrive, and select the library. Click Sign In.
  10. In the upper right corner is a Search box. Key in an author, title, or genre that you are interested in. You don’t have to use the full name. Click on the Search box to see a list of choices. (The Brenham Library is somewhat limited so it may not provide you with any books from your search. That doesn’t mean you have done it wrong. The Houston Library has many more selections.)
  11. Notice that in the upper right corner of each book shown is a circle with a book or earphones. This shows you what format the book comes in. If the circle is gray, the book is not currently available, but you can place a “hold” on it. They will notify you by email when it’s available.
  12. It’s helpful to select Available Now (on the box to the left) so that it will limit your choices to just those you can check out.
  13. You can also choose your Format: Kindle, Overdrive, EPUB, Audiobook. I recommend you start with the EPub option.
  14. Find a book you want to read and click on it. The Borrow button appears.
  15. Click on Borrow. A new screen appears showing you the Overdrive Bookshelf.
  16. Click on Download and select the Format. For our purposes, select Adobe EPUB. Click on Confirm and Download. Loading Title will appear.
  17. If you look in the upper left corner, near the three horizontal bars a number may appear showing you how many files are being loaded.
  18. Click on the three horizontal bars to open your Overdrive list again. Look for the Bookshelf. Click on it.
  19. Your downloaded book will appear on the next screen. Click on the book to begin reading.
  20. Touching the title at the top will give you a new top and bottom. At the bottom you can move from chapter to chapter quickly and change the font size.
  21. At the top, on the upper right corner are bars. Clicking on these takes you to the table of contents. Click inside the book on the left to return to the book.
  22. At the top, on the upper left corner are the three horizontal bars that take you back to the Overdrive list.
  23. Once you have finished the book, click on the Overdrive bars and select the Bookshelf.
  24. Hold your finger on the name of the book and three choices will appear at the bottom: delete, return, and share. Clicking Return will automatically remove the book and return it.
  25. You can check out up to five books at a time and put three books on hold.
  26. When you are on the “library” page, notice there is an Account (looks like a person) at the top of the page. Clicking on it reveals a bookshelf which shows you the books you have checked out, the books on hold and other details.
  27. There are actually TWO bookshelves that you will use. One is a bookshelf on your ipad or similar device. This tells you what books you have downloaded to it. The other one is the bookshelf that the library has. You may have books on it that are NOT loaded onto your device. It’s easy to forget which bookshelf you are in.

Once you have Overdrive and a library card entered, follow these steps.

  1. Open Overdrive, and select the library. Click Sign In.
  2. In the upper right corner is a Search box. Key in an author, title, or genre that you are interested in. You don’t have to use the full name. Click on the Search box to see a list of choices. (The Brenham Library is somewhat limited so it may not provide you with any books from your search. That doesn’t mean you have done it wrong. The Houston Library has many more selections.)
  3. Notice that in the upper right corner of each book shown is a circle with a book or earphones. This shows you what format the book comes in. If the circle is gray, the book is not currently available, but you can place a “hold” on it. They will notify you by email when it’s available.
  4. It’s helpful to select Available Now (on the box to the left) so that it will limit your choices to just those you can check out.
  5. You can also choose your Format: Kindle, Overdrive, EPUB, Audiobook. I recommend you start with the EPub option.
  6. Find a book you want to read and click on it. The Borrow button appears.
  7. Click on Borrow. A new screen appears showing you the Overdrive Bookshelf.
  8. Click on Download and select the Format. For our purposes, select Adobe EPUB. Click on Confirm and Download. Loading Title will appear.
  9. If you look in the upper left corner, near the three horizontal bars a number may appear showing you how many files are being loaded.
  10. Click on the three horizontal bars to open your Overdrive list again. Look for the Bookshelf. Click on it.
  11. Your downloaded book will appear on the next screen. Click on the book to begin reading.
  12. Touching the title at the top will give you a new top and bottom. At the bottom you can move from chapter to chapter quickly and change the font size.
  13. At the top, on the upper right corner are bars. Clicking on these takes you to the table of contents. Click inside the book on the left to return to the book.
  14. At the top, on the upper left corner are the three horizontal bars that take you back to the Overdrive list.
  15. Once you have finished the book, click on the Overdrive bars and select the Bookshelf.
  16. Hold your finger on the name of the book and three choices will appear at the bottom: delete, return, and share. Clicking Return will automatically remove the book and return it.
  17. You can check out up to five books at a time and put three books on hold.

Additional Points

  1. When you are on the “library” page, notice there is an Account (looks like a person) at the top of the page. Clicking on it reveals a bookshelf which shows you the books you have checked out, the books on hold and other details.
  2. There are actually TWO bookshelves that you will use. One is a bookshelf on your ipad or similar device. This tells you what books you have downloaded to it. The other one is the bookshelf that the library has. You may have books on it that are NOT loaded onto your device. It’s easy to forget which bookshelf you are in.