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Using Overdrive Library eBooks on your Kindle Reader or App

Bronze user
Last modification by sppl
May 21, 2013, 5:07 pm → version: 7
Language: English
Average rating:
Using Overdrive Library eBooks on your Kindle Reader or App 4 by 4 users
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There are three steps to getting an ebook from Overdrive for Kindle:
1. Find an ebook
2. Check it out & download it
3. Transfer it to your Kindle reader/app.


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On the library home page (, hover your cursor over Books and click on eBooks.


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Click on Download eBooks from Overdrive.

For more help, click on More information, including compatible devices and how to get started.


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The is St. Paul Public’s Overdrive catalog.

The book symbol in the upper right on each cover is black when the title is available, and gray when it’s checked out..

To find a book, browse through categories (hidden or shown through the Menu icon) or…


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…use Search or…


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Advanced Search.

You can search by title or author or search in certain categories. This is also where you find the ever-handy Only Titles with Copies Available option.


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You can narrow your search results in different ways.

You can:

Search within results.

Search by format


You can also limit by:

My library’s collection – only what SPPL owns

Only titles with copies available - just what’s available for checkout

Additional titles to recommend - everything Overdrive offers (This collection includes what SPPL owns plus many other titles. You can use it to recommend titles for purchase to your library. )


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To indicate how long you want to check your ebooks out for, click on Settings in Account.


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Click on the cover of a book for more information and to check it out.

Be sure to check the Available Formats to make sure you can read it on your device.

Click the Borrow button to check the ebook out.

If you see a Place a Hold button instead, no copies of the title are “on shelf;” place a hold. When your turn comes up, you’ll get an email and have 3 days to check the book out. (Each copy of can only be checked out by one person at a time.)

Wishlist = a list of titles you’re interested in – for your reference only.  You are not placing a hold here. Click the ribbon or the button - The ribbon turns red when a title is on your wish list.

Library Copies = what SPPL owns.

Available Copies = what are currently “on shelf.”


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Enter your library card number; you don’t need your PIN.

Pay attention to the Remember my login information on this device checkbox.  Do you want your library card number remembered here?

Click Sign In.


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Click the Download button and choose the Kindle format.  Then click Confirm & Download. Once you’ve done this, you CANNOT change to another format.

If there’s a Read (in your browser) button you can read it on your computer by clicking it.  You can do this at any time, even if you’ve already downloaded the ebook. 

When you first check out a title, it has a Return Title button.  You can use this to return the title before you download it.  After you download it you need to return it from your Bookshelf.


Kindle is for the Kindle readers and apps only.

EPUB is for any other reader or for the Overdrive App.

PDF is used very seldom – you can ignore this format safely.


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Now you're at's website. You’ll transfer the book to your Kindle/app from here. Click Get library book.

If you decide you don’t want the book after all, or want another format, click Return Book.


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Sign in to the Amazon account your Kindle reader/app is associated with.


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Choose which device to send it to (e.g. "Mary's Kindle“ or “Bill’s Android”).

Click Continue


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Amazon automatically sends the book to the Kindle reader/app via wi-fi. Note: This will not work with the Whispernet (3G) connection.

Some books require that you transfer them via a physical USB connection.  You would connect your Kindle to your computer and click Download now to start the physical transfer.


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Powering up your Kindle reader/app prompts Amazon to send updates, including your Overdrive book. So turn your Kindle off and then on, and make sure its wi-fi connection (not Whispernet (3G)) is active. The book should automatically transfer, but it may take a few minutes for it to appear.


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If you are using the Kindle app on a tablet or smartphone, connect to wi-fi.

Open the Kindle app and tap on Archived Items, and then tap on the title of the book you want to download. (Archived items shows everything you’ve got listed in your Kindle Library at

Also use Archived Items to remove a book from your Kindle app.

Important!  Kindle books only work with the Kindle app. They will not work with the Overdrive app.


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There are two ways to remove library books from your Kindle reader/app: on the device itself, and with your Amazon account. (See step 17 for removal from a Kindle App.)

The only way to return a Kindle library book early is through your Amazon account.


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Select the book you want to remove.  With this model – the basic $69.00 model, use the up and down arrows to navigate through the list.


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Go to the menu for that title. Here, press the right arrow.


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Choose Remove from Device

This just removes the book from your Kindle reader/app.  It does not return it to Overdrive, or remove it from your Amazon account, so you are free to download it again for as long as it’s still checked out to you.


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To return/remove an ebook from your Kindle Fire, long tap on the book (hold your finger on the screen until a menu appears).  Use a regular tap to select an option.

Again, this just removes the book from your Kindle Fire.  It does not return it to Overdrive, or remove it from your Amazon account, so you are free to download it again for as long as it’s still checked out to you.


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Go to Amazon and sign into the account you use with your Kindle. Click on Your Account.


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Scroll down until you find the Digital Content section and click Manage Your Kindle.


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Click the Actions button next to the book you want to remove. A menu will pop up.


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Return this book means the book is no longer accessible through your account on Amazon, and, after your Kindle reader/app gets updated, no longer readable there.

However, a record that you had the book checked out stays on your Amazon account, and the no-longer-readable ghost of your book stays on your Kindle reader/app in Archived Items. (Archived items shows everything you’ve got listed in your Kindle Library at

A book does return automatically on its due date; if you don’t want to return it early, you don’t need to do anything. A library ebook can never be overdue.


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If you want the record for the book to be removed completely, so there is no indication that you ever checked it out, first return it, and then Delete from library. This will also remove it from Archived items on your Kindle reader/app.


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You can get a lot of free ebooks legally online. Many of them are in the public domain (not covered by copyright anymore), some of them are promotional, and some of them are not professionally published. You can find a list of sources at

Just be sure that you get books that are in the following formats:


MobiPocket (an older format Amazon took over for the Kindle)



Kindle devices/apps CANNOT use the EPUB format.


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This Always Available link takes you to Project Gutenberg which has thousands of free, public-domain ebooks available in multiple formats.  And they go through a multi-layer editing process, so they’re of good quality.


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If you need additional help, check out the resources on the Overdrive page by clicking the question mark at the top of most Overdrive Library pages.


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Discover the Next Generation Experience gives a good overview of the new Overdrive, if you want further help.

If you can’t find your answer anywhere else, click Support to email the library.


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Enjoy your eBooks!

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