- How does borrowing a book work through Open Library?
- How do I get set up to borrow books through Open Library?
- What books can I borrow? How can I find them?
- Which reading devices can be used to read the ebooks borrowed through Open Library?
- How many Internet Archive books can I check out at once?
- Can I return a library book early?
- How can I see which books I've checked out?
- Can I put a library book on hold?
Hardware and Software
- Where do I get Adobe Digital Editions?
- How do I authorize Adobe Digital Editions? Who is my ebook vendor?
- Can I borrow books using my ereader?
- Can I borrow books on my my Nook?
- Can I borrow books on my Kindle?
- Can I borrow books on my Ipad?
- Back to main FAQ page
How does borrowing a book work through Open Library?
The Internet Archive and participating libraries have selected digitized books from their collections that are available to be borrowed by one patron at a time from anywhere in the world for free. These books are in BookReader, PDF and ePub formats (and Daisy for the print disabled). You can choose which format you prefer as you complete the borrowing process.
BookReader editions may be read online immediately in your web browser. No special software is required.
Other Internet Archive loans are managed through Adobe Digital Editions, which you may need to download to manage your library of borrowed books.Top
How do I get set up to borrow books through Open Library?
Follow these steps:
- Sign up for an Open Library account
- Some ebooks require Adobe Digital Editions (This is where you can read the books you've borrowed, manage your current loans, or return books). Take a look at the screencast for installing Digital Editions.
- Get an Adobe.com account (If you create an Adobe account, you can access your library from a variety of locations. If not, your loans will be tethered to a specific computer or device.)
- Find a book to borrow
- If a BookReader edition is available, you can read it instantly online in your web browser. Other formats will require that you download a file and open it in Adobe Digital Editions
What books can I borrow? How can I find them?
The easiest way to find books to borrow is to jump straight to the eBook Lending Library which shows works which have editions that are available through the Internet Archive.
You can also use the search page and check the box that says "Show only eBooks" though this will also return results in DAISY format. You may also want to browse books in the Accessible Book subject facet.Top
Which reading devices can be used to read the eBooks borrowed through Open Library?
Internet Archive offers borrowable books in BookReader, PDF and ePub formats. BookReader editions may be read online immediately in any web browser. Downloadable eBooks are readable in Adobe Digital Editions and some other software platforsm. Here is a list of supported devices on Adobe's website. ADE also provides support for Sony's Reader.Top
How many books can I check out at once?
You can borrow 5 books at a time from the Internet Archive (and participating libraries). Each loan will expire after 2 weeks and will automatically "return" at the end of that time period.Top
Can I return a library book early?
Yes, usually. If you borrowed a BookReader edition, simply return it from your Loans page.
If you downloaded another type of ebook, you'll need to do that through the Adobe Digital Editions "library". That's the book spines icon in the top left corner of the application (1). Once you're in your library, click on the menu for book you'd like to return which is behind the tiny triangle that appears by the book cover (2) and select "Return Borrowed Item" from the menu (3). This image will show you where to look.
If you used other software to access your book, you may not be able to return it early but the item will be automatically returned at the end of the loan period. Please contact us if you are having trouble returning your items.
How can I see which books I've checked out?
There's a page under your Open Library Account which displays all the books you've checked out at any one time - http://openlibrary.org/account/loansTop
Can I put a library book on hold?
Not yet. For now, each loan lasts for 2 weeks and loans will automatically expire after that time.Top
Where do I get Adobe Digital Editions?
You can download Adobe Digital Editions from adobe.com. It's free.Top
How do I authorize Adobe Digital Editions? Who is my ebook vendor?
The first time you run Adobe Digital Editions, it will prompt you for authorization. This is completely optional and is not linked to your Open Library ID. If you do not want to set up an Adobe ID, check the box in the lower left where it says "I want to Authorize my computer without an ID" and click Authorize.
If you do want to set up an ID, click the "create an Adobe ID" link next to the eBook vendor line (which should remain set on "Adobe ID"). You can authorize your computer at a later date by going under the Help menu of ADE and selecting the "Authorize computer..." option.Top
What about using ereaders?
The market for ereaders is changing rapidly. Regardless of which ereader you have, you can read Open Library eBooks online in your browser with our BookReader. Many devices support PDF files, which can be downloaded from Open Library. Below are some tips for using some popular ereader devices. Feel free to send us your feedback.
Can I read books on my Kindle?
Yes! When you have found an eBook with the "read" icon beside it, look for the tab in the list of available formats that says "send to Kindle." Click on that link. Look here for an example: Send to Kindle.
NOTE: For now, this feature works only for Kindle owners in the US.
For older Kindles that use 3G rather than wireless technology, Amazon charges a small Personal Document fee for delivering eBooks to the Kindle. Newer Kindles like Kindle Fire that run Android software may not appear as an option when you click Send to Kindle. See Amazon.com’s Kindle Personal Documents Service page for more information.
In all cases, downloading the MOBI format file to your computer and transferring it to your Kindle with USB is free. You can also download PDF files, transfer with USB and use your Kindle's Adobe Reader application to view them.
You, however, cannot use the Kindle to borrow books from Open Library. This limitation is because Kindle uses a proprietary file format instead of the ePub format. We use Adobe Digital Editions for borrowing and the Kindle format is not compatible with it.
Can I borrow books on my Ipad?
Yes! You can read our books using our BookReader via the Safari browser or by using a reader app like Bluefire Reader or Overdrive Media Console. For more information on Bluefire, go to their site at [bluefirereader.com]. Here are some step-by-step instructions on using Overdrive Media Console. Before you start, register an Adobe ID. You'll need to do this once. If you don't have one, create one at this page [https://www.adobe.com/account/sign-in.adobedotcom.html] 1. Make sure you have downloaded and installed the free app "Overdrive Media Console" on to your iPad 2. Find a book you'd like to borrow; feel free to try a sample book that is small such as this one [http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24214545M/Mr._Funny] 1. Click on the "ebook" link under the "borrow" heading on the right 2. Log in if you have not logged in to Open Library 3. Choose one of the download options, if you have the bandwidth for larger files start with the PDF option. The only downside to this process is that books can not be returned early via Overdrive so you'll just have to let them expire or we can return them early if you need to free up space on your loans list. Top
How do I borrow books to read on my Nook?See this blog post for instructions: http://blog.openlibrary.org/2011/12/10/reading-lending-library-books-on-the-nook/ Top : http://bluefirereader.com : https://www.adobe.com/account/sign-in.adobedotcom.html : http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24214545M/Mr._Funny
History Created November 16, 2010 ·
|May 13, 2013||Edited by Jessamyn West||fleshed out ipad instructions|
|May 3, 2013||Edited by Dana Gee||added link for Accessible books 3rd answer|
|April 9, 2013||Edited by Jessamyn West||parallel const.|
|April 8, 2013||Edited by Dana Gee||cleaned up bottom of page|
|November 16, 2010||Created by bookfinch||Edited without comment.|