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How To Borrow Library Books On The iPad

Updated on November 23, 2014

Read Bestsellers For Free On Your iPad From The Public Library

Most iPad owners buy an iPad are not looking for a basic eReader, but the iPad does offer many ways to enjoy eBooks through its iBooks app and other apps. Many people constantly search for free eBooks for iPads, overlooking the fact that you can access hundreds of thousands of bestsellers and popular eBooks for free by borrowing eBooks from your local public library.

Learn how to borrow library books on the iPad so you can expand your reading material without reducing the money in your wallet!

Image Of iPad 2 courtesy of Apple.

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Library Books For Free On The iPad

First Things To Know

OverDrive is the eBook supplier used by the majority of public library systems throughout the world. Their official website allows you to search for both books and library systems that are provided by OverDrive. The directions here are for library systems that use OverDrive for their eBook catalog management.

You will need to get a copy of OverDrive's app from the Apple iTunes Store to be able to read the library books on your iPad. The app is free of charge and can be downloaded here.

You also need a library card and your login information for your local library's web catalog.

Keep in mind that all libraries maintain unique eBook collections, and a book provided by OverDrive may not be available to borrow from your particular library in an electronic format. You will need to submit a request to your local library that they add the book you are looking for to their collection.

Not all libraries use the same web design and interface. If you are unclear where to find your library's eBook collection via their web catalog, contact them for assistance.

Yes, There's An App For That!

You can use the official OverDrive Media app to download library eBooks directly to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

OverDrive Media Console Screenshot via
OverDrive Media Console Screenshot via

How To Borrow Library Books On The iPad

1) Download the OverDrive Media Console app onto your iPad if you have not already done so, and launch the app.

2) Tap the "get books+" button on the top right corner of the screen.

3) Click the "add a library" plus button.

4) Search for your library system and select it from the results. Tap the star icon to save your library to the favorites in the app.

5) You will be taken to the eBook catalog for your library system. Login to your library via the link in the upper right side of the page.

6) Search the catalog for eBooks. You will have the option to borrow or place a hold, as well as to add to your wish list.

7) When you are ready to checkout your books, follow the on screen prompts. You will be advised the lending period for the eBooks.

8) Once checkout is complete, download your library eBook.

9) You will be prompted to login with your Adobe ID to authorize your device to access the free eBook from your library. Click the link near the bottom of the screen to setup an Adobe ID if you do not already have one.

10) Your book will begin downloading and is ready to read once downloading is complete. You will see a little calendar icon noting the lending period for your eBook so you know how long you have to read it.

Video Tutorials On Borrowing Library Books On The iPad

Do You Love Your Public Library?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I LOVE my library! I wouldn't be able to live if I didn't have a place that constantly supplied me with books!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I LOVE my library! I wouldn't be able to live if I didn't have a place that constantly supplied me with books!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 

      6 years ago

      Yes I do.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wish I had a library id now! have not used a library in 10 years since my son lives across the county line ( County has privatized library to cut costs). When i tired to get him a book for school near his Moms house, the Library wanted my DL and turned us away since I live outside that Libraries county. Since then we just use Google, iTunes ,Barns & Noble to purchase books its easier then driving my son 40 miles round trip to get a book from my county library or asking his Mom to take him. Was hoping to use Overdrive but will need Adobe ID and a library card still. also looking for a way to lend my iTunes purchased books to son with different iTunes account. My Counties new private Library management will not honor a Library Card ID from outside our area and has a small selection.

    • Soapmarked profile image


      6 years ago from TX

      Thanks! I didn't know Overdrive was available as an app and was having trouble borrowing books on my iPad. This helps a lot.

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 

      6 years ago

      Thanks I didn't know about the Overdrive app!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great tips, thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      buying an iPad is on my to do this, great source of downloading and purchasing books, a lot of friends and family have them and I've used them a lot in this way.


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