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What's the best way to borrow eBooks?

by Ask a Librarian | Jun 21, 2017

eReader image from pixaby

“I want to borrow eBooks from the library.  What’s the best device to do that?”

My question to you: What devices/phones do you currently own?  Do you have a smartphone or tablet running Android 4.4 or up or IOS 9 or up?  That will work.  A computer or laptop?  Unless it’s ancient, you can read eBooks that way too. 

ACPL offers two eBook services:  OverDrive and Hoopla.  A home WIFI connection will make it easier to take advantage of these services but all ACPL locations offer public WIFI networks as well. 

Hoopla requires you to sign up for an account with them, using your email address, a password you create, your ACPL library card, and your four-digit PIN number.  Once you're logged in, you can borrow up to ten titles a month.  On a smartphone or tablet, just download the Hoopla app from your app/play store and sign in with your Hoopla account.  Borrowed titles can be also be read on your computer.
OverDrive can be used without any special software or account other than your ACPL card and your four-digit PIN number.  When using our catalog, choose to download the HTML format.  Or within our ebook site, borrow the title (sign in with library card number and PIN) and then go to My Account — Loans) and click on Read Now. A new webpage for the eBook will open for reading. You can bookmark the eBook to return to it easily, or open it again from your account. View this help video to learn the tricks. On a smartphone or tablet, you also have the option of downloading the Libby app.

There are help pages and videos on both library eBook sites to help you learn how to use these services.  For instance, you can change the text size, font, and background colors to suit your needs.  We are also happy to help in person at the library.  Calling ahead may be best to make certain that we have staff available at the time you need.

While there a certainly benefits to eBooks, it's worth noting that ACPL still purchases and owns more print books than eBooks -- the wait times for physical books are typically less at ACPL than for eBooks these days.  No battery needed!

Check in with us next week for a post considering the different types of e-readers available . . . .

From the Desk of Ask a Librarian (

*Questions about your library card or PIN number?  Please call us at 260-421-1200 ext. 4011 during regular library hours.

*Licensing agreements allow us to provide eBook privileges to Allen County, Indiana residents only. 

*Technology and the library’s eBook services are in a constant state of change.  This post may be out-of-date within a month or two! 


Leave a comment
  1. emarshall | Jul 23, 2018

    Hi Elizabeth!

    Depending on how your Overdrive account is set up, your holds may or may not automatically check out to you.  If your hold does not automatically check out to you, you will have to go to your Holds page and borrow the item before you can download it.  If your item has automatically checked out to you, it should also automatically download in the Libby app as soon as you go to your Loans page (assuming you are connected to the Internet).  In the Overdrive app, you will need to go to the Allen County Public Library page, and from there to your Account page, where you should be able to download your item.

    If none of this was helpful, please call the library directly at 421-1200.  Our staff will ask you some specific questions that will help us troubleshoot your particular case.


  2. Elizabeth Rodgers | Jul 20, 2018
    I have an email stating I have a book that was on hold now available for me to borrow.I have Overdrive and Libby. I have not found a way to download my borrowed book. I have tried all that was suggested to do to downliad the book. What am I doing wrong?
  3. Becky, editor for As You Like It | Jul 13, 2017

    I'm glad you asked that question, Deb!  We have an online magazine service called Flipster.  Unfortunately, National Geographic is not currently one of the magazines available, however there are several to choose from. 

    From our homepage at, choose the Explore tab.  Flipster is located under the Download and Stream section.

  4. Deb Reed | Jul 13, 2017
    Can you borrow magazines like National Geographic as an ebook?
  5. Becky, editor for As You Like It | Jul 11, 2017
    Thanks for commenting Terri and Zoe!  Glad you found this post helpful.
  6. Terri Nagel | Jul 11, 2017
  7. Zoe Zefo | Jul 11, 2017
    I loved receiving this, thank you!  I have used OverDrive for quite a while but have wondered if I am getting full use of it.  Thanks again, Zoe

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