OverDrive FAQs

Toronto Public Library provides access to eBooks, audiobooks and magazines that can be read on mobile devices (tablets and smartphones), computers, and selected eReaders.

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 do not already have a TPL card can sign up online for access to OverDrive. Learn more about the Digital Access Card.

Where do I find eBooks and audiobooks on the Toronto Public Library website?

The eBooks and Online Content page contains a list of the services for online (digital) formats, including eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, music and video.

Does the library offer eBooks that are compatible with all eReaders and devices?
  • Kobo - Yes
  • iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod Touch - Yes, with the Libby App
  • Android tablets and Phones - Yes, with the Libby App
  • Kindle - No (with the exception of the Kindle Fire). For Kindle Fire: Until OverDrive's newer Libby app is available in the Amazon app store, the older OverDrive app will remain available to install and use to borrow OverDrive materials.
  • Full list of compatible devices

More information is available on our Getting Started with OverDrive page.

Can I borrow OverDrive books using my Kobo app?

No, you cannot borrow books with the Kobo Books app.

Why will my eBook not download to my Kobo eReader?

You can read most borrowed OverDrive eBooks on your Kobo eReader. However, there are some limitations. For an ebook title to be available to download directly to your Kobo, the title must also be available for sale on Kobo.com. If you find a book in Overdrive that is not sold by Kobo (with the same ISBN), you will need to use Adobe Digital Editions to add the eBook onto your Kobo.

Can I borrow digital Audiobooks?

Digital Audiobooks (audio recordings of books) can be downloaded and played through the Libby app on mobile devices and on computers through libbyapp.com or through TPL's OverDrive website using OverDrive Listen.

Please Note: As of February 23, 2022, OverDrive for Windows and OverDrive for Mac will no longer be available for download from OverDrive. The OverDrive desktop software, currently installed on computers, will continue to be able to download and play eAudiobooks and transfer to MP3 players and iPods.

Can I transfer an OverDrive eBook from my mobile device to my Kobo eReader?

No, eBooks cannot be transferred from a mobile device (tablet or smartphone) to a Kobo eReader. To add an OverDrive eBook to a Kobo eReader, download directly to the Kobo eReader (if available) or download to a computer and transfer to the eReader using Adobe Digital Editions.

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 several times higher 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 digital content 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. If a title cannot be found using the "Recommend to Library" feature, the library is unable to purchase the title for the OverDrive collection at this time.

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".

    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.
  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.

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.

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