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eBooks, New and Improved: Place Holds, Download, and Manage Your Account in BiblioCommons


It's now easier to download and request holds on EPUB, PDF, Kindle and e-audio, music and video (a.k.a. OverDrive) while in the library catalog, BiblioCommons. You no longer have to sign in to a separate site with your barcode.

Your electronic holds and checked out items will appear alongside physical books and materials you have out, so you can better prioritize your must-read list!

Here's an overview of the changes.

Here you can see an ebook and a print book appearing together in search results. Choose "Check availability," "Request this download," or just click on the title to see if the ebook can be downloaded now or if there is a waiting list.

When an ebook is available to check out (no waiting list) you'll be able to choose your format and lending period and download immediately.

If the item you want is not available, you'll select your format and request to be notified as soon as it is.

Here is how your Holds page will look, with outstanding physical holds and the location where they will be sent, digital holds, and your place in the queue for both. Holds can be canceled, but they cannot be suspended. When you are notified by email that a title is ready to be downloaded, you will see a READY FOR CHECKOUT link appear. You'll then find the item on your Checked Out page...

Here is how your Checked Out page will look, with both physical print materials and digital items together in order of date due. You will see a Download Now button next to digital materials, whether or not the file has already been downloaded.

Please note that as promising as it looks, you still cannot renew digital items. Of course you are welcome to check an item out again once your time is up, as long as there is not a waiting list. If you'd like to return an item early, you can usually do that from your computer or the device you are reading on.

Start downloading ebooks now!


If you don't already have an account in BiblioCommons, get one now. You can create an easier-to-remember username. You can rate, review, and tag items and create lists. You can also install the NYPL app to help you search the catalog and manage your account on the go. Note that while you can see all of your current holds and check outs in the app, you still have to log into to place holds and download to your mobile device.

Don't have a library card? Get one now.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

fantastic upgrade of ebook UI

Hello, NYPL! Fantastic upgrade of the e-book user interface! It's much easier to understand which books are available, which platform is required, and especially easier to use the Kindle borrowing system! Bravo and brava to your team on these improvements! --Happy NYPL e-reader!

The library - One of the most important monuments of our culture

Very few things are as important to a culture is its information and its availability. The city has been threatening to restrict access to information due to budget constraints which would constrain the abilities of it's citizens to empowerment, growth, and knowledge. Now the library has increased it's ability to provide valuable resources. Thanks. Jonathan Genkin

Love the upgrade

I am very happy to know that the e-book borrowing process is now easier. I just hope that NYPL will do more to make it clear to patrons that e-books can be returned before the due date. I had to stumble across this information myself. I am hoping that this knowledge will help minimize the wait time for e-books that have been placed on hold.

Thanks for your comment! Here

Thanks for your comment! Here is information about returning digital materials, which I hope will inspire readers to return after enjoying their books.

Dear NYPL, is it possible to

Dear NYPL, is it possible to borrow ebooks from your library if you are in Ireland. I work in a library and we dont have the ebook facility yet? Kind Regards Alicia Dunphy

Hi Alicia, to be eligible for

Hi Alicia, to be eligible for an <a href="">NYPL library card</a> one must live, work, attend school or pay taxes in New York State. Here is a listing of libraries with ebook collections that may allow nonresidents to obtain borrowing privileges, usually by paying a yearly fee.

Returning Kindle ebooks

I congratulate you on making it easier to borrow Kindle books, but I would like to know how to return them. I have finished one, and would like to return it before its expiration date, but don't know how to do it. As a matter of fact, I don't know how to return a book when its borrowing period is expiring. Please let me know. Providing free ebooks is a great service and will certainly increase literacy. Love the NYPL.

Here is information on

Here is information on returning Kindle books: You don't have to do anything once the due date has passed, as the book will no longer be accessible. The post also explains how to delete an expired file so that you don't have to see it in your library once you're done with it.

I pad download

Can e books be downloaded to ipads? If Yes, what option is selected?

Yes! You will need to

Yes! You will need to download the <a href="">OverDrive Media Console app from iTunes</a> and select EPUB from the catalog. You can also choose the Kindle option if you have the <a href="">Kindle app</a>.


Hi, I see that it is possible to borrow library books using a KINDLE. Is it also possible with a NOOK??

It is possible to borrow

It is possible to borrow library books with a NOOK. Step by step info here: Or download a pdf with full instructions here: You will need to download ebooks to your computer first and then transfer them to your Nook.

ebook lending system

Hi Lauren, I'm the librarian at a small library in Santa Fe, Argentina, and I`m very interested in knowing about the ebook lending system that you use at your library. What I would like to know more about is how you manage the recovery of the material lent. Specifically how the material automatically becomes blocked to the reader after the expiry date. Kind regards Claudia.

Hi Claudia, many public

Hi Claudia, many public libraries in the U.S. use a vendor called OverDrive. We use it both to purchase licenses to materials and to circulate those materials to patrons who borrow books from us. The technology they use to "recover" material lent includes <a href="">Adobe DRM</a> and Amazon Kindle. The files we lend are encrypted so that only one end-user can access the file, and the file expires at the end of the loan period and cannot be accessed unless it is checked out again.

Hi Lauren thank you so much

Hi Lauren thank you so much for all the helpful information and I am really grateful kind regards Claudia


Are the ebooks available in BiblioCommons the same as those listed when using

Yes, it is the same inventory

Yes, it is the same inventory of titles, just a different way to access.

'old' books to e-book?

I'm curious about the extent that 'old' books will be available in e-book form: I devour 1950-60's mysteries -- Ross MacDonald, John MacDonald, as examples; will books of that vintage be 'upgraded' to e-books in greater numbers than they are presently? Or, will we continue to see recent books in e-form in far greater numbers? Is the process to convert more difficult for older books? Thanks.

hold expires before item is available

I keep getting bumped to the end of the hold line because my hold expires before the item is available for me to download. Not clear what I can do about that.

Hi William, you have 72 hours

Hi William, you have 72 hours from the time the email notification is sent, but once you begin the download process you only have 30 minutes to complete the download. The item should be available for you to download as soon as you get the email about it.

I am having the same issue. I

I am having the same issue. I have at least six ebooks on hold that say they are expiring the day off and appear to reset everyday so it doesn't looks like I am moving up on the waiting list.

3m cloud library app

The 3m cloud library app us terrible. Since last update it wreaks havoc on android phone. Can't receive texts or calls wjike using app, constantly crashes and i have to constantly tirn my phone of and on in order to get missed calls and text messages. Is there an alternative app that can be used to read ebooks

Wishlist in overdrive vs my lists on

Why is the wishlist in overdrive different from my lists on the library site? It would be convenient to see when the books included in the my lists section are available in ebook format such as the wishlist currently does in overdrive. But the two lists don't seem to sync. Is there a way to sync the lists so ebooks can be downloaded when available?

Past checkouts

Is it possible to look up previously checked out books in my account? I often want to look back on past eBook checked outs but once a book is returned there seems to be no way viewing past checkouts. I am betting the NYPL server keeps this information. Uses: find new books by authors of books already read, recommend books to friends from list of past books, find the last book read of a series so to continue the series, etc. Thank you

Past Checkouts

I chatted with a Librarian about my questions above and got an answer: No, NYPL does not retain info on past check-outs and, therefore, cannot tell anyone what books they have or have not checked out in the past. The reason for this is privacy issues. There is a capability for creating a List of books checked out and that is covered in the Help area but it is up to the individual to create and maintain their own list. For those who want to track past reads, you can also use the service that can also provide a means of tracking and rating books read and then obtaining recommendations based on past reads. The recommendation engine/filter is not very sophisticated, but can lead to some unknown finds.

Extended an Ebook

Is there a way to extend past the 21 days. I won't be finished with my current book before it expires so this would be helpful. thanks!

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