Online Catalog FAQs

Download titles without leaving our NEW ONLINE CATALOG!


What are you talking about?

If this is the first time you are checking out ebooks, e-audiobooks, or streaming video from the Reading Public Library and Berks County Library System, please visit Overdrive Help to learn the basics and to download any software you may need.


What are my options?

You are now able to access downloadable titles in two ways:

  • Overdrive Website
    • Complete catalog of electronic titles
    • Limit searches by format or availability
    • Download necessary software
  • Library Catalog
    • Fewer steps to check out
    • Search both physical and digital titles
    • Manage all holds in one place


What should I look for?

Look for these icons in the catalog:

icon-overdrive Available through Overdrive
icon-ebook Ebook format (click to access EPUB/Kindle/PDF format information in MARC 538 field)
icon-audiobook E-audiobook format
icon-video Streaming video format (general electronic resource icon encompassing streaming video) . .



 What’s different in the catalog?


  • When a downloadable item appears in search results in the catalog, you’ll see the Overdrive icon in the format position.  When you are logged into your account, you may either Check Out or Place Hold.  Click the button to check out and download (if the item is available) or place a hold (if it’s not available).
  • A window will open to select download format and to complete checkout.
  • Digital items that are checked out are listed in Items Out in My Account.
  • Digital items that are on hold are listed in Requests in My Account.


Why would I ever need to go to the OverDrive site again?

  • Searching by file format.  At this time, you can’t search by file format (Kindle vs. ePub) directly through the online catalog.  Use OverDrive search if you want to limit searches to a particular format.
  • Help and troubleshooting. Device-specific help and lists of supported devices are still best seen on the OverDrive site.
  • Downloading the software you need to view or listen to downloadable media.


Do I still need to download software?

Yes.  Audiobooks, audio files, and videos are still accessed first through OverDrive Media Console.  EPUB books (for Nooks and other devices) are still accessed via Adobe Digital Editions. The software is downloaded from the OverDrive site.

Kindle users do not download any additional software; this is not a change.


Can I download items in the library?

No, you must download your items to your personal computer or mobile device.  Borrowing eBooks and downloadables requires the installation of software that associates the loan with your computer or other device.


How do I check out an item or place a hold?


  • When you find a title you want to borrow, click the link that will indicate Check Out or Place Hold, depending on the availability of the item.
  • If the title is available, a window will pop up to select the media type you want. For example, an eBook may be available in both Kindle and Adobe ePUB formats. (For more information about formats, please see the Overdrive Help Center.)

  • If the title is not currently available, a popup window will ask you to confirm placing a hold.

  • Once you check out an item, you can download it at your convenience using the Overdrive software.


How do I see what I have on hold?

Under My Account, click on Requests. You’ll see all of your holds for both physical and digital items.

Once an item becomes available, a Ready for Checkout button appears so you can choose the format and loan duration and check it out. Once you’ve checked out an item, it moves to the Items Out page, whether or not the file has been downloaded.


Can I suspend a digital hold request in the online catalog?

Suspending a hold for a physical book, DVD, or CD in our catalog will prevent the request from being filled until you’re ready to reactivate the request. At this time, it is not possible to suspend digital holds in our catalog; however, you are able to suspend digital hold requests on our OverDrive site.  Find instructions for suspending a hold in OverDrive Help.


Can I cancel a hold on a digital item?

Holds on digital items can be cancelled the same way you cancel a hold on a book or DVD.


How will I be notified once my items are available to download?

You will receive an email when a title is available.  If a hold is placed through the PAC and not the Overdrive catalog, the item will not be automatically checked out when it becomes available but will remain on hold until it is manually checked.  Holds expire after 96 hours.


Can downloaded items be returned like other items?

If an item has been checked out, but not yet downloaded, it can be returned in Items Out.

Some downloadable materials cannot be actively returned depending on format and device. For more information, please see the OverDrive help center.


How do I see what I have checked out?

Like the Requests page, the Items Out page now shows both physical and digital items.


Can I renew my ebooks or downloadable audio/video?

Digital files cannot be renewed in our online catalog.

It is possible to renew titles that you currently have checked out three days before they expire by visiting our OverDrive site. This actually means that you can place an advance hold before the title expires. You will still need to check out and download the item again.

To learn more, read these instructions.


Why does the message say “We’re sorry, check-out is not permitted.  Money is owed on your account. For more information, see your account information under Fines and Fees or contact the library,” or “This action is not permitted. Please contact the library regarding your account.”

Make sure your account is in good standing.  If you are unable to check out a physical book due to unresolved fines, you won’t be able to download a digital book either.


How many holds can I place on digital titles?  How many items can I have checked out?

You may place a maximum of 10 Overdrive items on holds, including ebooks, e-audiobooks, and streaming video.  You may have a maximum of 10 Overdrive items checked out at one time.


Please email us with any unanswered questions.