OverDrive FAQs

The library provides access to a range of eBook content that can be read on computers, eReaders and other portable devices.

How can I sign up for OverDrive?

You must have a valid Toronto Public Library card to sign up for OverDrive. Toronto residents 13 years of age and older who don't already have a TPL card can sign up online for access to OverDrive. Learn more about the Digital Access Card.

Where do I find eBook content on the Toronto Public Library website?

You can find a list of eBook services on the Downloads & eBooks page.

Does the library offer eBooks that are compatible with all eReaders and devices?

Content can be downloaded using a computer and then transferred to your device, or downloaded directly to your device using the appropriate app. More information on our Getting Started with OverDrive page.

Can I borrow eAudiobooks to listen to?

eAudiobooks (audio recordings of books) work on a variety of devices and are available from OverDrive.

Can I borrow an eReader or other device from the library?

No. The library does not currently provide any devices for customers to borrow. We do, however, offer a variety of classes and workshops to help with using the library's ebook collections.

Why are there limits on the number of eBook copies and the length of time they can be borrowed?

Publishers and authors set the terms of use for all copyrighted materials, and the library agrees to those terms when we purchase the eBooks.

Why can't I find the eBook I want to read?

Some major publishers are not yet making their eBooks available to public libraries and others have placed special conditions on them. This means that sometimes we will have the print copy of a book but we will not have the eBook version. The same book can have different publishers in Canada and the U.S. so you may see an eBook on an American library's website that is not available to Canadian libraries. Of the eBooks we can buy, the library price is sometimes three or five times more than the consumer price, resulting in fewer copies for library readers.

However, the eBook market is constantly evolving, so stay tuned for updates. The Toronto Public Library Board continues to advocate for improved access to e-content from all publishers. The Board's goal is to provide universal access to eBooks for all library customers, which is particularly important given the rapidly growing demand for this content.

Can I suggest a title for purchase?

You can use the "Recommend to Library" feature to suggest titles for the library's OverDrive collection.

You can suggest one title every 30 days.

To recommend content follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your OverDrive account.
  2. Search by author, title or keyword.
  3. Under "Availability", select "Recommend to library". Search results with arrow pointing to Additional Titles to Recommend under filters

    You will then see a list of all available titles including those that have not yet been purchased. Titles you can recommend will be identified by the banner "NOT OWNED" at the top:

    Image if book cover showing a not purchased header at the top
  4. Click on the title you wish to recommend to see the full title information.
  5. Click on the "Recommend" button.
  6. You will be given an option to place a hold and/or be notified if the book is added to the library collection.
  7. You can suggest one title every 30 days.

Why wasn't the title I recommended purchased?

Content is acquired in adherence to our Materials Selection Policy. We welcome title suggestions and consider them an integral part of our selection process. However, a suggestion may be declined for a number of reasons, including:

  • cost
  • unsuitable format
  • poor reviews/no reviews
  • newer titles available on subject
  • the library owns another edition of the title
  • title is available in an existing compilation
  • subject is already well covered in the collection
  • out of scope of the collection, e.g. too academic or specialized
  • if a title cannot be found using the "Recommend to Library" feature, the library cannot purchase the title