Click here to skip to this page's main content.

 Hello!   Open Library is participating in our eBook lending program. Browse the growing lending library of over 250,000 eBooks!

Site Search

Site Search
Last edited by Jessamyn West
November 9, 2014 | History


Current Issues

Signing Up

Borrowing/Returning Books and Adobe Software

Reading Books

Editing Books

  • Back to main FAQ page
  • I can't see the recaptcha.

    Sometimes when people are referred to Open Library from other sites they come from a referral address that the recaptcha doesn't recognize and the images are blank. Try signing up directly from our signup page.

    Additionally if there are problems during your signup--your chosen username is taken for example--the recaptcha changes and you have to start form the beginning. We are working on this but for now, if this happens, please start over again.


    Why is every username taken?

    There is a problem with how our signup page works with some browsers where once you get a "username taken" message, it doesn't clear up if you try again and you can't sign up. Try starting over at the beginning sign-up page

    in order to clear the error and try again.


    I didn't receive the verification email.

    Check your inbox and spam folder for an email from with the subject line Welcome to Open Library The email should arrive within a few minutes but can sometimes take longer. If you can not find the email, contact us and we can resend the verification email.


    I didn't receive the verification email because I mistyped my email address.

    You can sign up to Open Library again with the proper email address or contact us with both the mistyped email address and the correct email address you would like to replace it with and we can make the change and send you a new verification email.


    If you are using Internet Explorer 10 you may have to enable compatibility mode in order to use some of the functions of Open Library. Here is a link on Microsoft's site explaining how to enable compatibility mode. Here is a simple graphical explanation.


    I am being asked for my Adobe ID and I'm not sure how to get one.

    There is a link to go to the Adobe website to sign up for an Adobe ID on the page asking you for a login. If you can not see that link or the page has disappeared, you can go to this page on the Adobe website and click the "Don't have an Adobe ID?" link to set one up.


    I can't move my book from one device to another.

    Adobe only allows registered users to copy purchased books from one device to another. Unfortunately they do not allow the same options for borrowed books.


    I deleted my ebook instead of returning it.

    Books will automatically be returned to Open Library at the end of the two week loan period. If you are not sure what you have checked out, you can check your loans page.

    What if I get an Adobe error "Document is not licensed for this device type"?

    This seems to be fixed by deactivating Adobe Digital Editions (via control-shift-d) and then restarting the application, then reactivating with your Adobe username and password, and then retrying. It seems to work if you borrow a different book, and may require time for the Archive's Adobe server to forget about the book that showed the problem in the first place.


    What if I get an "Unable to Return" error with the code E_BAD_LOAN_ID?

    We are not totally certain why users are getting this error message but the

    forums seem to think it's related to ADE 2.0. Please see this forum posting for information on how to revert to an earlier version of ADE and contact us with more information if you are having this problem.


    What if I get an Adobe error that says E_ADEPT_IO, or E_ADEPT_DATABASE, or some other Adobe DRM Error?

    These errors mean your computer is not letting the .acsm file connect to the server to authenticate and deliver your book. They can happen for a number of different reasons. Here are some things to investigate.

    • Are you behind a restrictive firewall?
    • Do you have fairly high security settings on your computer?
    • Can you add our server to the list of sites your browser or operating system trusts?
    • Can you right-click on URLLink.acsm, choose "Properties," and unblock the file?
    • are you running the latest version of Digital Editions?
    • Did you recently change your system clock?

    Here is information from Adobe's help pages on ways to troubleshoot the error. Here is a page from Hoover Library that discusses how to clean out a previous download and start fresh.

    I am trying to return an item early using Overdrive Media Console and the book will not return.

    Currently books checked out via Overdrive Media Console can not be returned early. If you need to have a book returned to free up one of your loan slots, please contact us.


    I want to check out the book I have in a different format. Can I do that?

    Sometimes. To do this you have to return the book and check it out again; there is no other way to "swap" one format for another. Books checked out via Adobe Digital Editions can be returned early. Books checked out using other ebook readers can not.


    What do I do if I find a scanning error?

    While some of the items in Open Library are scanned by us, others are scanned by various other projects.

    • If the item is from Google Books you can report a scanning error here.

    • For items with minor errors, you can note this in the item's Open Library record. Just click EDIT and add the information in the Edition Notes field.
    • For items with major errors, please let us know via the Contact Form which you can access by clicking the "Problem?" flag at the bottom of the item's page.


    I am trying to read a book using the BookBrowser but all I am seeing is blank pages.

    This may happen when people have tried to read a book that is not available in BookBrowser format. Sometimes this happens by following a malformed link. Go to the book's record page (here is an example) and make sure there is an eBook version of the book available to borrow. You may also be accidentally trying to read a book that is only available to the print disabled. You can see this set of frequently asked questions for more about this program.

    If you can not view the book and you can't use the pull-down menu in the upper right corner under your username, you may have to turn on Compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. Here is more information about how to turn on Compatibility Mode.


    I clicked through to read a book from the item's record page and the book that opened in the BookBrowser was the wrong book

    Sometimes the items in Open Library may have bad metadata. Usually this happens because we made a link between an Internet Archive item and an Open Library record and that linkage was incorrect. You can let us know when you find instances of this, or if you are confident that you understand the problem, you can remove the Open Library/Internet Archive link and fix the problem.


    I've added a book but the record says "author unknown." I know I added the author. What's going on?

    When you type in an author's name in the author box, you must wait for a drop down menu to appear. Our database checks to see if we already have the author you've entered in our database. The list will contain authors with the same (or similar) name to the one you've typed in. Once the drop down appears, you must click on an author name, even if there is only one. If you do not click on an author name, none will be entered and the record, once saved, will list no author, only "author unknown."


    I made a duplicate record by mistake. How can I delete it?

    You cannot delete records. Click on the problem flag at the bottom of any page and send us a message with the link or OL identifier. Please be very careful in suggesting deletions. We only want to delete works that are exactly duplicated elsewhere in Open Library.


    History Created March 4, 2013 · 47 revisions

    November 9, 2014 Edited by Jessamyn West removed out of date issues
    August 7, 2014 Edited by Jessamyn West added login issues
    June 2, 2014 Edited by Jessamyn West adobe issue fixed
    May 30, 2014 Edited by Jessamyn West more specifics on errors
    March 4, 2013 Created by Jessamyn West started this page!