What’s one of the most common questions I’ve received recently from OverDrive library partners regarding eBooks?

Is the Kindle compatible with the Adobe EPUB and PDF eBooks my library offers?

The answer to that question is still, unfortunately, no.  This always leads to the follow-up question:

Why isn’t the Kindle compatible?

The short answer is that the Kindle does not currently support the Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection our publishers and suppliers require for Adobe EPUB and PDF eBooks offered through the OverDrive service.  If you are interested in a clear and thorough explanation, take a look at Jason Griffey’s popular blog entry ‘eBooks, filetype, and DRM’.  It’s a lengthy post, but a great read if you want to know the technical side of the answer.

So, let’s focus on what devices are compatible with Adobe EPUB and PDF eBooks offered through your ‘Virtual Branch’ website.  For the most up-to-date list, always direct your patrons to the OverDrive Device Resource Center.

We have also heard it’s often difficult to direct a patron to the appropriate webpage when at the circulation or information desk. In addition to the continually updated Device Resource Center online, we have put together an eBook Devices Cheat Sheet (PDF) that you can print out and make available to staff inside your library. This handy reference tool will empower any library staff member to provide patrons with information on compatible eBook readers.

The Cheat Sheet outlines the Barnes & Noble nook, the Sony Reader, and the Kobo eReader.  Keep in mind, it isn’t necessary to own or use an eBook reading device to enjoy eBooks.  As we’ve listed on the Cheat Sheet, you can use your Windows PC or Mac computer or laptop with Adobe Digital Editions installed.

With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, you will undoubtedly receive an increased number of questions about eBooks and eBook reading devices.  Feel free to use the eBook Devices Cheat Sheet as a reference tool to assist in answering eBook device related questions. As new devices are tested, we’ll update the sheet and let you know when an updated version is available.

Megan Greer is a partner services associate for OverDrive.

15 Responses to “eBook Devices Cheat Sheet: A librarian reference tool”

  1. Ruth Ann Copley


    Thanks for this post, I will share with staff. Great info! Any word yet on the new Velocity Micro Cruz eReader being sold by Borders? Have you tested one yet?

  2. Megan Greer

    Hi Ruth Ann,

    At this time, we have not officially tested the Cruz Reader from Velocity Micro. It runs an Android operating system, so with OverDrive Media Console Mobile installed, you would be able to download MP3 audiobooks. Currently it should have similar compatibility with OverDrive content as with an Android phone. If we confirm compatibility with OverDrive EPUB and PDF eBooks, we’ll post an update here.

  3. Virginia

    Great cheatsheet. Everyone loves it at our library. Is there a reason why you’ve made this “staff-only”? It’s a great instructional sheet for our customers. Thanks!

  4. Megan Greer

    Hi Scott,

    Currently the iPad is compatible with OverDrive WMA and MP3 audiobooks that are transferred from a Windows PC. Mac users are able to transfer MP3 audiobooks to their iPad. We are developing an eBook app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch however we do not have a release date to share at this time. When it’s available, we’ll definitely post the information on the blog.

  5. Amy

    Any news on the ebook reader app for android? There was a press release in the spring, but I haven’t seen an update.

  6. Diana Norton

    Does the Nook Iphone app work to read Overdrive content? How about tstr. Information I found indicates it should work but most of the directions are in German.

  7. Deb Czarnik

    I echo Virginia’s question — why not make a version of the cheat sheet that we can give to patrons to take shopping with them?

    • Dan Stasiewski

      Hi Nancy, we haven’t tested it yet, but I’ll pass the request on to our Testing Team. Keep an eye on the Device Resource Center to see if it is added.

    • Dan Stasiewski

      Thanks for the feedback everyone. We’re looking into what we can do for future Cheat Sheet updates.

  8. Debbie

    Still waiting for word on Velocity. We have patrons coming in asking about it, and would like to give them a definitive answer.