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Downloading Kindle Books: An Updated Visual Guide

My friends and colleagues Ruth Rodriguez at the Francis Martin Library and Lauren Lampasone in Reference and Research Services have both written excellent blogs posts, including ones that detail how to get free ebooks from eNYPL to your Kindle. Recently both the library and Overdrive have redesigned interfaces, and so some of the great screen captures on those useful instructional blogs have changed.

on Overdrive page

This sort of thing will always happen, but the important thing to remember is whether you're using the BiblioCommons single login, or logging directly into our Overdrive site from our website, free books can be downloaded to your Kindle. Now at the time of writing, June 2014, Kindle formatted titles are not compatible with 3M. There are workarounds and hacks, but we don’t support this activity. If you just want to find Kindle formatted titles that are compatible with your Kindle or other devices you’ll need the following.

  • A valid NYPL card
  • Your four digit PIN
  • An internet connection (A WiFi connection. Yes, you can do this using NYPL WiFi at your local branch on your own laptop.)
  • Your Kindle device or Kindle app
  • Amazon Account

Open and select the option under All Formats to Kindle Books.

Loan Period

The default borrowing for ebooks, like the Kindle format, is 14 days, but prior to check-out and downloading, one can set the loan periods to either 7,14, or 21 days.
The search feature in BiblioCommons is good, however, a lot of readers tell me that it’s not so clear as to how one can search or limit the format in BiblioCommons, so for our purposes today, I’d suggest just logging into and limiting your search to the Kindle format and then add any author or title information, now just so you know, the Overdrive search is not as robust as BiblioCommons, so I generally keep the searches simple. Some titles you will need to enter a waiting queue, due to the title's popularity, but other titles you may find can be borrowed immediately. A new feature added by Overdrive is the "read in your browser" feature. You will need a live internet connection, however you can also opt to simply download the Kindle title, you will of course need the Kindle app. If you’re downloading to a Kindle device, you’re good to go.
Select the format you wish to download. Not all formats are available for all titles.

Advanced Search

An important point to mention is that you will not need to pay or buy ebooks, however, you will need a Amazon account. When you choose the Kindle format, the check-out borrowing process will switch you over from your library account, to “get library book.” The Library purchases the digital licensed copies for you to borrow. In order for you to borrow those copies, at this point you’ll be prompted to enter your Amazon account and password information. I usually download my Kindle ebooks via a wi fi connection, but you can also transfer your books via a USB cable.

Select your format




Sign in and Get library book


sign in here



You may either have your Kindle book delivered via your wireless network, or tranfer the content from a computer to your Kindle device.

Support & Tutorials

Here are some links to tutorial info and an overview of eNYPL Downloadable Collection. Log-in with a valid library card number and 4 digit PIN at:

1. Lending Policy Information

2. Software Downloads from Overdrive: Overdrive Media Console

3. Video Help. Quick video instruction for a host of devices.

4. eBook Central:  Free library class instruction schedules & help guides:

Our upcoming ebook class schedule.

Our other innovative technology courses.

If you don't like the future you see, build one in its place, and if you don't see a title in our catalog, please suggest it.


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