The library world is atwitter (literally a tweet per second!) about library eBook lending on the Kindle for public and school libraries in the US. For details, check out our blog post from yesterday.

You asked, and now we’ve answered: Here’s a how-to video so you and your users can learn how to browse, checkout and get eBooks for Kindle. Feel free to share!


Brianne Carlon is a public relations specialist at OverDrive.

69 Responses to “How to get library eBooks on the Amazon® Kindle”

  1. Chris

    This is great! Not complicated at all if you are familiar with using Overdrive from your library. I use it all the time for audio books and this is just as easy. Looking forward to using it!

  2. Maureen Goldsmith

    I just watched the how-to video. It doesn’t look particularly complicated to me, just a few extra steps.

  3. MrSteve

    Really? First I have to go to my library, look up the book and log in, then I have to go to Overdrive to log in and place the order. Then I have to go to Amazon to log in AGAIN to actually get the book. Wow… great implementation… very user friendly.

  4. Athena

    This is GREAT! ONce you do it the first time, your library card number and pwd is saved – you can do the same with your amazon acct info. Super easy and GREAT way to e-read! Thank you library!

  5. Steve McClain

    If you follow the prompts it is not complicated. Just think, you can borrow and return books from your home.It doesn’t get any better than this!

  6. Marion the Librarian

    Brianne, I noticed in the video “most books in the collection are compatible with Kindle.” Is there any explanation we can give patrons as far as which ones are not, and why?

    Over on Amazon’s Kindle discussion area, someone has already found books that are available in Amazon’s Kindle store, and available through Overdrive, but in Overdrive they aren’t getting the option to choose the Kindle version. The example was Morgawr by Terry Brooks. Is there some incompatibility or licensing issue with that title, or it is perhaps that someone already has the Kindle version checked out so it isn’t currently available?

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Marion, there is not a public explanation at this time. The titles available for Kindle are noted as such on the library’s ‘Virtual Branch.’

  7. Rose

    Could you make closed captioning available on this video? I have a deaf patron who is excited to use ebooks with her Kindle and Kindle for iPhone app, and I’d like to be able to send a video demonstrating the steps. All the voice-over explanation in this video will not be accessible to her until captioning is added.

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Rose, thank you for your suggestion! We support efforts to increase accessibility for patrons, so we have added closed captioning to this video on YouTube. Simply ask your patron to click the “cc” button in the YouTube player. Thank you again for your interest and suggestion!

  8. Steve McClain

    Your half right. It’s a snap if you have wireless but a few extra steps if you have the original kindle which works on 3g. In that case when you get to the amazon page after you sign in read the clip on how to transfer files to the kindle.It’s three steps and 30 seconds.

  9. Ann PErrigo

    It wasn’t too hard for me–and I’m famously bad with technology. The video helps!

  10. JDW

    How quickly unappreciative and ungrateful some people have become! They’re FREE!!! And the very first comment is a complaint!?? You just have to hate people sometimes! Goodness!! You too, #8! Can’t follow instructions? *facepalm*

  11. Lizzy

    Great video. Are there videos like this for downloading eBooks to Nooks, Android and Apple products? That would be really helpful.

  12. Carol Battt

    Hi Brianne – I work for the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and we offer our cardholders OverDrive downloads. Overall, I think that the video is very good, but we’ve identified an issue that has concerned our staff and users. Apparently, the Kindle device currently only allows a single open Internet browser. If you use the Kindle to search the Library’s OverDrive site, select and then go to checkout an e-Book, you are not able to access the amazon site because at this point a new browser window needs to open. Perhaps a disclaimer at the beginning of the video saying that you need to search the OverDrive site from a PC or laptop, excluding a Kindle search as an option, would provide greater clarification. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Carol, we apologize for any confusion. At this time, your patrons will be able to deliver eBooks to their Kindle of free Kindle apps from a PC or Mac. -Brianne


    downloading is so easy! no need for tutorial. go the find an available ebook, put it your cart and checkout with kindle! it took me 30 seconds to get an ebook! hooray to the public libraries & amazon. (nook has had it for a long time).

  14. Lita Bouquard

    How do we “return” a kindle ebook if finished before the due date? When copies are limited I don’t want to keep it any longer than necessary.

  15. Kathy

    My Kindle is 3G and if it weren’t, it would be easier to download a library book. I think the whole thing is complicated and I don’t like putting in my library card number each time. I wish we could just set up an account with a password to make it easier. I know, I know. It’s library book and it’s FREE and I certainly appreciate that. But I have to attach my Kindle’s USB cord and go thru myriad steps to get the book actually onto my device. There should be something faster and easier.

  16. Annette

    This sounds so simple that i cannot believe some people actualyl complain it is too hard. I can’t imagine how those people actually manage to get themselves to the physical library.

  17. Kathy

    On my 3G Kindle, I have to jump thru myriad hoops to get a library book downloaded. I have to attach my cable and copy and paste something and go through so many steps that I’m unwilling anymore to TRY to download anything from KHCPL on it. I’ve gone twice to the library to ask for help and those staffers also have to go through many steps to do it and when I get home, I forget how to do it. I’ve spent at least an hour this morning trying to get a library book. It’s extremely complicated and I really hate it. Anyone else having problems?

  18. John Higgins Jr

    If I do not have a computer, can I go to the Plainview OB Library and load a book onto my kindle

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi John, you can visit your local library to check out a title. You will need to sign in to your Amazon account and “Get for Kindle.” The title will then by synced to your Kindle via Wi-Fi. Remember to sign out when you are finished. Enjoy! -Brianne

  19. Tony Redman

    Brianne, as the primary Kindle user at our library, I’ve been assigned to put together a tutorial for the rest of the staff. I was going to use your video, but do you also have a handout put together I can give out to everybody as well? I’ll put one together if you don’t, but I figured there was no reason to if one already exists! 😉 Thanks!

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Tony, I will email the document now! Thanks for asking and educating your staff. -Brianne

  20. bpl


    Is the handout you sent Tony (#28) posted on your site? And/Or can you link to it from here?


  21. Phyllis Siegel

    This is incredible and easy to manage. KUDOS for giving us the opportunity to download to our Kindles. Thank you

  22. Sarah

    Where do I begin to get audio books from the Charlotte Mecklenburg library website with my kindle fire?

    • Brianne Carlon

      From your library’s website, there are two easy ways to search for Kindle titles. Use the Advanced Search option and choose the Kindle format as your search criteria or click on the “Now Available – Library eBooks for Kindle” graphic located in the left navigation pane of the site.

  23. Pat

    I use Overdrive for public library e books in Australia but they are DRM.It is great. BUT Is this process you have described for Kindle compatible with Australia.Otherwise my Kindle is so limited.

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Pat, Kindle books are only available to patrons in the U.S. at this time. Please continue to check back for updates. -Brianne

  24. Patty Donahue

    I could write a book by the time it takes to get a book from Overdrive for my Kindle.

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Jennifer, the site was just a demo in the video. -Brianne

  25. Helena

    Our library does not connect with kindle….it is not a format choice.

  26. sally

    Any time frame on when overdrive will be compatible with Australian libraries for kindle users???

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Sally, at this time there is no news as to when Kindle books will be available to Australian library users. Please check back for updates. -Brianne

  27. Roland E. Sanchez

    I just bought a NOOKcolor at Barns and Noble. Can I use it there?

  28. Prospective User


    I sometimes borrow Overdrive ePub and Adobe e-books from my local library for my iPhone. I now need to get a device with a bigger screen and want to get a Kindle, but it sure looks like the majority of e-books provided in Los Angeles are not in the Kindle format but in the Adobe formats, which my library website tells me are not compatible with the Kindle. (I am interested in getting the Fire.)

    So, it seems I can read Adobe content on iPhone, Android, and Windows 7 phones and on iPads, but not on Kindles. Is this correct?

    Please confirm as this will guide my purchase. Thank you.

    • Brianne Carlon

      Hi Carol, at this time, you would need to actually go back to your library website and check the title out again. Look for updates on this in the future…

  29. marina

    I followed the instructions but the library book did not appear in my Amazon account, yet the overdrive website states the book is checked out to me. What gives???

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Marina-
      Sorry you’re having trouble. Please contact your local library for help resolving this issue.

  30. Vicki Oppelt

    Can you only get ebooks from your local library or can you get ebooks from libraries outside of your local libary area. There doesn’t seem to be too many books available at my library.

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Vicki- You’ll need a library card from each library whose digital collection you want to access via OverDrive. If your library doesn’t have a particular title you’re looking for, you can always recommend titles to your librarian… Best, Mike

  31. Maryann

    I have a 14 day period on book I checked out but have finished it in less than a week – how do I return the book so it is available for someone else.

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Maryann- You can find instructions on how to early-return library eBooks and audiobooks on OverDrive Help. Best, Mike

  32. Cecilia

    I have a 3g Kindle, I can only download library books to my computer by UBS to the Kindle..My problem is I can’t finding the books after I check them out to my computer..When I plug in to USB from my computer to the Kindle, I can’t find the books? I get to Amazon, click on the book then nothing happens.

  33. Elaine B Geller

    I am having trouble getting connected to the library to download books to my Kindle. Kindle registered to my husband, Irwin B Geller, who purchased Kindle for me on Amazon. Help me connect to the library with my card and my email address. Thank you.

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Elaine- To resolve technical issues, please consult the Help pages located on your library’s “virtual branch” website, where you’ll find troubleshooting resources and email-based support specific to your library’s OverDrive service. Best, Mike

  34. Earl Hodgkins

    When I want to borrow a Kindle book, the process sends it to Amazon where I download it. Amazon puts a charge to finish process. What’s happening. I have a Kindle app for PC not an actual Kindle.


    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Earl- There shouldn’t be a charge associated with borrowing library eBooks via the Kindle app for PC. Please contact support via your library’s Help page. Best, Mike

  35. Colleen

    A friend of mine lives in a different city and when she uses her library card she has more book choices on the overdrive app then I do. Are the selections different for every library? Or, I’m I doing something wrong?

    Thanks- and love the app!

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Colleen- Glad you’re enjoying your library’s eBook collection via OverDrive. We work with more than 19,000 libraries and schools around the world, and each library in our network chooses which eBooks and audiobooks to offer in their digital collection. The entire OverDrive catalog includes more than 800,000 titles, but most partners stock a few thousand titles. -Mike

  36. Kimberly Scoffield

    Hey What if your local library doesn’t have kindle ebooks?

  37. Kathy

    Excited about our library joining Overdrive! One question: the kindle user in our family is actually our 10-yr-old daughter. Is there a way to limit where she browses? Sort of parent controls? Thanks!

  38. Jessi B

    I have tried to load Overdrive on my Kindle, but I tried through my comptuer and Kindle doesn’t recognize that it’s there. I tried through my Kindle and I am unable as you need to open a second window from the Amazon site in order to load Overdrive and it doesn’t have that ability. How can you load Overdrive on a Kindle??

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Jessi- Please consult your library’s Help pages, which include How-To articles and email-based support. Best, Mike

  39. kathy Johnson

    I downloaded a ebook to my computer that I had reserved. However when I go to load it onto my Kindle it will not open as it is a AZW3 FILE.

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Kathy, be sure to check out the Kindle version of the title and not the EPUB. Cheers, Adam.