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Email: info@sclibrary.ab.ca
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OpenLibrary Help 

For a printer-friendly version of this handout, download the pdf.

Compatible formats: EPUB, PDF

OpenLibrary is a project created by The Internet Archive, which is a non-profit organization. This website contains information about 20 million books, with new ones being added every day. Some of the books on this site are available as e-books you can download. Others are just listings of the book information, with a link to how you can find that book in a library. This makes the OpenLibrary site a bit confusing, so if you are new to library e-books, you may want to start with OverDrive or Freading instead.

Within the OpenLibrary collection are some titles that have been donated by partner libraries. Libraries send in one or more books to be scanned and added to the OpenLibrary, and that pool of books can only be borrowed by members of those libraries. Strathcona County Library has joined this project and our patrons have access to this collection. OpenLibrary books are in EPUB or PDF format. OpenLibrary calls these books "In-Library Loans."

What's Required

In order to get to OpenLibrary books, you will need to either (a) be in the library, using one of our computers or our wireless; or (b) log in via the library website. Go to http://www.sclibrary.ab.ca/download.htm to get started, and then click on the link to OpenLibrary. If you are not in the library, you will be asked to log in with your library card and PIN (the last 4 digits of your phone number).

In addition, you will need a free OpenLibrary account. See the "OpenLibrary Account" section below.

What Can I Borrow?

E-books are never overdue, and there are never any fines for e-books.

Type/number of books Over 100,000 e-books, mostly 20th-century titles
Includes fiction, non-fiction, children's and teen titles, academic books
Lots of variety, but not many popular authors/titles
File formats EPUB and PDF
E-books are checked out for 2 weeks
Maximum # of books at a time Limit 5 at a time
E-Books can be returned early from within Adobe Digital Editions or a mobile app **
Renewals? No
Always available? No -- OpenLibrary titles can only be used by one person at a time. There are no holds, so if a title you are interested in is checked out, you must check back for it later

Search and Browse

Start by visiting SCL’s Downloads page at http://www.sclibrary.ab.ca/download.htm. Click on the OpenLibrary title or logo as shown below.

When you click on the link from SCL’s website to OpenLibrary, you will see a page with many book covers (shown to the left).

The OpenLibrary site can be confusing because it contains many listings for books, some of which are actual e-books that you can download, and others of which are only links to help you find the book in a library.

The easiest way to find e-books that you can download is to always use the "Search the Lending Library" search:

When you search for an author, title or keyword, you will see a list of search results like this:

Once you see search results, check for books that are available to "Read" or "Borrow." Look for these icons next to the book cover and title:

Read
This book can be read in your browser and sometimes downloaded. Books with the Read" symbol are often older books that are out of copyright and can be freely distributed.

Borrow
This book is available for you to borrow as a patron of SCL, which is participating in OpenLibrary. You can read it in your browser or download it to read in an app.

Checked Out
This book has been checked out by another user. You can check back for it next time you visit the OpenLibrary site and see if it is available.

If you use the search in the top right-hand corner of OpenLibrary (shown at left), you will find a greater variety of titles. But not all of those books will be available to read/download. To make sure you only see titles that are available, only use the Lending Library search.

To get back to the main Lending Library page, direct your browser to the URL http://openlibrary.org/borrow. If you get lost in the site, you may need to type this URL in to your browser to return there.

OpenLibrary Account

In order to borrow titles from the OpenLibrary, you will need to either (a) be in the library, using one of our computers or our wireless; or (b) log in via the library website. Go to http://www.sclibrary.ab.ca/download.htm to get started, and then click on the link to OpenLibrary. If you are not in the library, you will be asked to log in with your library card and PIN (the last 4 digits of your phone number).

In addition, you will need a free OpenLibrary account. Setting one up only takes a moment, but it does require some information, including an email address.

In the top right-hand corner of the page, click on "Sign up." (In the future, you can use "Sign in.")
You will see a form like this one:

Fill in the information and tick the "I acknowledge that my use of Open Library is subject to the Internet Archive’s Terms of Use" box (you may want to read the terms of use first; you can click on the "Terms of Use" link to read them). Then click the "Sign Up" button.

In the future, you can log in with the username and password you chose.

How to Download

When you find a book you would like to borrow, click on the title to go to the detailed information page. In the right hand column, you will see links related to borrowing that book. Click the "eBook" link on the right-hand side under the word "Borrow."


You will be asked to log in to your OpenLibrary account, if you have not already done so.

You will have to choose a reading/download option:

Read in Browser
To read in your browser, without downloading the book, choose "Read in Browser." (Note that once you select this option, you will not be able to download the book – it has to be read exclusively in-browser.) This is helpful if you don’t want to install any extra software on your computer.

To download the book, select either PDF or EPUB file format.
PDF files
PDF files are higher quality because they are scans of the original book. These files take up more space on your computer or device. Not all devices can open PDF files.
EPUB files
EPUB files are lower quality, but they also take up less space. They may contain errors sometimes because they are automatically transcribed from the original scans.

Your download will start.

On PC computers, your computer will prompt you whether to "Open" or "Save" the file. Select "Open." The e-book will open using Adobe Digital Editions. If you need more information about how to install and use Adobe Digital Editions, see our handout Help for Adobe Digital Editions.

On Mac computers, you may need to find the file in your downloads and open it.

On mobile devices, the process of downloading a book may vary. See the appropriate help handout for your device.


Last updated: May, 2012

 

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STRATHCONA COUNTY LIBRARY | (780) 410-8600
401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada T8A 5P7

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