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November 19, 2018
Halton Hills Public Library. A world within our doors

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Ebook and eAudiobook FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions - eBooks and eAudiobooks

1) What is the Ontario Library Service Download Centre?

The Ontario Download Centre is a huge eBook library. One hundred and ninety nine Public Libraries across Ontario have pooled their eBook budgets together to bring to you a library far larger than any of the libraries could do individually.

2) What is OverDrive?

OverDrive is the name of the company that supplies the Ontario Dowload Centre. Their name is on many of the extra products and features of the Ontario Download Centre. For example, you can enjoy books from the Ontario Download Centre by using the OverDrive app on your portable devices, and OverDrive Help will give you lots of information about how to get set-up and borrowing.

3) An eBook or eAudiobook is just a file. Why can’t I download my own copy? Why do I have to wait for another person to finish using the book?

eBooks and eAudiobooks are specially licensed for libraries. The publishers restrict how the eBook files can be used. In most cases, library licenses only allow one reader to be using any one eBook (or eAudiobook) at any one time.

4) Ebooks aren’t expensive. I can get them from Kobo or Amazon for $15 or less each. Why don’t you have more copies?

Ebooks can be very expensive for libraries. Since eBooks are specially licensed for libraries, they can often cost 6-8 times what you would pay to purchase an eBook for your own use. For example, The Racketeer by John Grisham costs libraries $85 per copy.

5) I’m listed as number 30 on the waiting list. Will I really have to wait that long to get my ebook?

No. The Ontario Library Service Download Centre has copies of eBooks that are shared between all 199 libraries, and copies of eBooks that belong only to one library. The Halton Hills Public Library purchases extra copies of popular titles and makes them available only to Halton Hills Public Library patrons. This means that even if you are number 30 on the hold list, (and if nobody else on the list is a Halton Hills Library patron), the next time one of the Halton-Hills-owned copies is returned, you will be the first person (skipping over the other 29 people) to get the eBook.

6) I am waiting for an eAudiobook title. Do you purchase extra copies of those too?

No. At the moment, Halton Hills Public Library only purchases extra copies of eBooks. All of the eAudiobooks you see when you are logged into the Ontario Library Service Download Centre are shared copies.

7) How do I know which eBooks have extra copies owned by Halton Hills Public Library?

The best way to tell is to log into the Ontario Library Service Download Centre using your Halton Hills Public Library card. Every title that has extra copies owned by Halton Hills Public Library will be marked with this symbol (seen below).

8) Other public libraries have ebook libraries that allow more holds and longer lending periods. Why don’t you?

Since the Ontario Library Service Download Centre is a cooperative venture between 199 member libraries, the loan period and number of holds have to be agreed upon by all members. We welcome suggestions about any of the lending practices of the Ontario Library Service Download Centre and will pass them on. Lending practices are reviewed regularly to make sure they are keeping pace with what our library patrons need.

9) What is the best way to search for an eBook?

There are two ways to search for eBooks and eAudiobooks. You can use search the Library’s catalogue .The eBook and eAudiobook listings in our catalogue give you a direct link to the page where you can download or place a hold on the eBook or eAudiobook. By using the catalogue, you can see all the different formats available for a particular title. This way, if the eBook you want is not available to check out, you can see if there is a regular print copy available instead. You can also search the Ontario Library Service Download Centre site itself. It is best to log in with your Halton Hills Public Library card before you start searching. This way, you can see all the books that have extra copies, exclusively for use by Halton Hills Public Library patrons.

10) Why do I need a computer to transfer my ebook to my device (depending on the device)?

Some devices such as the Kobo Touch (WiFi) depend on software that is specific to the device in order to download titles through WiFi. Since the Ontario Library Service Download Centre is intended to be used with a wide range of eReaders, tablet computers and smart phones, not all devices have the right software (or can have the right software installed) in order to download directly. Devices that use apps, such as iPads, tablets, and smart phones can download directly through a WiFi connection using the OverDrive apps (links). For more information about how to download eBooks to your particular device, see OverDrive Help .

11) The book I want was published last month. Why don’t you have the eBook?

Not all eBooks and eAudiobooks are published at the same time the book first comes to bookstore shelves. Some books can take weeks or even months to appear in eBook or eAudiobook format. Even then, because of the library licensing process, eBooks and eAudiobooks may take longer to appear on the Ontario Library Service Download Centre site. Lastly, some publishers choose not to sell their eBooks to public libraries. It is possible that the Ontario Library Service Download Centre may not be permitted to purchase that particular title.

12) Why don’t you take purchase suggestions for eBooks?

At the moment, the only eBooks we purchase by individual title are extra copies of titles that already exist in the Ontario Library Service Download Centre.