Understanding the OverDrive book borrowing process
You can borrow eBooks from most public libraries and read them on your Kobo eReader.
Most public libraries use a service called OverDrive to catalogue and manage eBooks. These instructions will guide you on how to borrow eBooks from your local library using OverDrive.
When you borrow an eBook, you actually download a license file to your computer. The license file is also called an .acsm file. You’ll need to copy this license file to your eReader using a free software called Adobe Digital Editions.
Here’s what the process of borrowing an eBook from your library looks like:
- Borrow an eBook from your public library using OverDrive. When you borrow a library eBook, you’ll download the eBook’s license file onto your PC or Mac.
- Use Adobe Digital Editions to copy the license file on to your Kobo eReader.
- Open the eBook on your Kobo eReader to read.
- A valid library card
- Internet access
Step 1 of 3: Borrow an eBook from your public library
An eBook can only be borrowed by one person at a time. If a book is checked out by someone else, you'll see an option to place a hold on a book. Once you place a hold on a book, it will be added to the "Holds" section of your account. When the book becomes available, you'll get a notification email.
- Go to your public library’s website.
- Look for the "eBooks" section of the page. Note: Every library website layout is a bit different. If you're having trouble finding the eBook section of your library's page, try doing a search on the page for "eBooks".
- If required, select OverDrive as the service that you'd like to use to browse books.
- Find a book that you’re interested in and click Borrow. The sign-in page will appear. Your library's sign-in page may look different from the one below.
- Sign in to your library account using your library card number and PIN (if required). The book will be added to the Bookshelf page.
Click the Download (EPUB eBook) button beside the book that you'd like to download. The .acsm file will be downloaded on to your computer. Notes:
- Some books may not have a download option, which means that you cannot read the book on your eReader. To read books without a download option, you'll need to use your web browser to read the book online.
- By default, most web browsers download files in to the Download folder. Look for the .acsm file icon in the Download folder.
Step 2 of 3: Set up Adobe Digital Editions
Use Adobe Digital Editions to copy the .acsm file to your eReader.
To set up Adobe Digital Editions:
Install Adobe Digital Editions
Create an Adobe Digital Editions ID
Authorize your computer with Adobe Digital Editions
Authorize your eReader with Adobe Digital Editions
A video tutorial on setting up Adobe Digital Editions is also available. Click here to learn more.
Installing Adobe Digital Editions
Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your PC or Mac to transfer Digital Rights Management (DRM)-protected content onto your Kobo eReader.
- Download ADE from www.adobe.com/support/digitaleditions/downloads.html.
- Find the ADE installation file on your computer.
- Open the ADE installation file.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install Adobe Digital Editions.
Creating an Adobe ID
Once you’ve installed Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to create an Adobe ID.
- With Adobe Digital Editions open, click Help at the top of the screen.
- Click Authorize Computer.
Click Create an Adobe ID in the Authorization window.
- Make sure the checkbox beside I want to Authorize my computer without an ID is cleared, and not selected.
- Beside the eBook Vendor dropdown menu, make sure Adobe ID is selected.
Fill in the appropriate text boxes and click Sign Up.
- Your Adobe ID is the email address that you used to sign up.
- Your Adobe password is the password you used to create the account.
- You can use your Adobe ID and Adobe password immediately after you've created it.
Authorizing your computer with Adobe Digital Editions
After you’ve installed Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) and created an Adobe ID, you’ll need to authorize your computer with ADE. You only need to do this once.
- With Adobe Digital Editions open, enter your Adobe ID and password that you've just created.
Click OK when Adobe finishes authorizing your computer.
Authorizing your eReader with Adobe Digital Editions
After you've authorized your computer with Adobe Digital Editions, you'll need to authorize your eReader.
- Connect your eReader to your computer using the USB cable included with your eReader.
Tap Connect on your eReader.
- Click the gear icon on the top-left corner beside Kobo eReader.
Click Authorize Device...
- Select the account that you'd like to authorize.
Click Authorize Device.
Click OK to complete the process.
Step 3 of 3: Add your library book to your eReader using Adobe Digital Editions
Library eBooks are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM). This means that when you download the eBook to your computer, you're downloading a license file. The license file is also known as a ".acsm file." To get the book itself, just open the license file in Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). ADE will verify your license, and then download your eBook in either EPUB or PDF format.
- If your eReader is already connected to your computer, go to step 5.
- Turn on your eReader.
- Connect your eReader to your computer using a Micro USB cable.
Tap Connect on your eReader.
On your computer:
- Go to the folder where your eBook (the .acsm file) is saved.
- Double-click the .acsm file. The book will open in ADE.
Click Library at the top of the screen.
Click All Items under the Bookshelves menu.
- Click on your new book and drag it to Kobo eReader listed on the left side under Devices.
- Eject your eReader from the computer and unplug the USB cable. Your eReader will show a Processing Content message. The library book will appear on your eReader's Home Screen.