How to Access a Library Book on a Kindle

Written by aubrey kerr
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How to Access a Library Book on a Kindle
Check out mulitple library books at once on a Kindle (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

In April 2011, Amazon announced Kindle users will be able to borrow e-books from the library through Overdrive Media Console software. Overdrive is a media downloading program used by more than 11,000 public libraries in the U.S. Visit your public library's website to find out if Overdrive is available in your area. You'll need a valid library card to borrow e-books, just as you do with physical books.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Download the free Overdrive Media Console from your public library's website. Look for a link to the program on the home page or search "OverDrive" in the site's search field.

  2. 2

    Browse the library's site for the e-book you want to read.

  3. 3

    Click on the title of the e-book you want to check out. You'll see a link that says "Add to eList" or similar, depending on your local library's catalogue.

  4. 4

    Enter your library card number and PIN when prompted. You set up your PIN when you got your library card. If you've lost your PIN, contact your library to get a new one.

  5. 5

    Select "Confirm Checkout," then "Download" to start the download. A download dialogue box opens. Choose "Overdrive Media Console," then "OK."

  6. 6

    Open the Overdrive Media Console on your computer. Double-click the Overdrive icon to launch the program. Your e-book download appears in the console.

  7. 7

    Connect your Kindle to your computer with its provided cable.

  8. 8

    Double-click the e-book title in Overdrive and click the "Transfer" button in the menu bar. The Transfer Wizard opens.

  9. 9

    Select Kindle and wait for Overdrive to detect your device. If you're using an older version of Overdrive that was released before Kindle support was announced, you won't see "Kindle" listed. Return to Step 1 and download the latest version of Overdrive.

  10. 10

    Confirm your device in the Overdrive Transfer Wizard, then wait for the e-book to be transferred to your Kindle.

Tips and warnings

  • Most libraries allow multiple e-book checkouts, but you have to read them all within your library's checkout period.
  • If the "Add to eList" link is greyed out or disabled, that means someone else is currently reading the e-book. Most libraries have a limited license for e-books, so you'll need to put the e-book on hold, just as you would with a physical book, and wait your turn to check it out.

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