How to Download Digital Books from the Calgary Public Library


Did you know you can get digital books from the Calgary Public Library for FREE? If you have a valid library card set up with a PIN (it’s usually the last four digits in your telephone number you provided to the library when you signed up for your card) you can download digital books from the library for up to three weeks.

I am a bibliophile. I love books. In my dream house every wall would be covered in bookshelves and filled with books. I tried to convince my husband to do this in our current house to no avail. He muttered something about weird smells and clutter.

You can imagine my sheer excitment when I discovered digital books for my iPad. I can carry hundreds of books in one neat little package which appeals to the collector in me and the desire for minimalism in my hubs. I have all the apps; Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, etc. If I want to buy a book I shop all the various digital bookstores until I find the cheapest version and download it for the appropriate app.

I also enjoy the free books offered by the Calgary Public Library.

In case you have never tried to download books from the library I have compiled a little tutorial for you here. I have never written out a tutorial before so bear with me. If I am missing a step or if one needs clarification, please let me know so I can clarify it for everyone.

Step 1:
First you need the OverDrive Media Console app.  You can find the OverDrive Media Console app at the Apple Canada app store for iPad users. The app is free.

If you have an Android, Blackberry or Windows phone you can information of where to download the app directly on the OverDrive Media Console website.


Step 2:
When you click on your downloaded Overdrive Media Console app it will prompt you to sign in with your Adobe ID. If you do not have one you can register to get an ID via the link they provide. Login with your newly aquired Adobe ID account information.

Step 3:
You will be prompted to download the OverDrive Media Console files in order to be able to use the app. Just click download and in two seconds you are ready to go.

Step 4:
Next it will ask you to find a library. Click on “Browse” and select Canada, Alberta, and then Calgary. This will take you to the Calgary Public Library website. You can either go through this song and dance everytime you want to access the library and maybe someone knows a better way around this but I simply added the link to my homescreen on my iPad. You do this by clicking on the same icon you use to email a webpage and instead of sending via email select “Add to Home Screen”.
You can also skip all the above steps and go straight to the Calgary Public E-library website. Just be sure to save this link to your Home Screen to make it easy to access for next time.




Step 5:
Login with your library card number and pin number. I checked the box where it asks to remember the card number. You will have to input your PIN each time but at least you won’t have to pull out your library card every time you want to sign a book out.

Step 6:
Start signing out books! You are allowed to sign out up to 20 books at a time. If the book is already taken out because even digital copies have limited licenses for digital editions you can select the option to put the book on hold. You are allowed up to 6 holds at a time. Once the book becomes available you will receive an email the book is ready to be downloaded. You can also add books to your wishlist if you have reached your limit on your checkouts and holds. There is no limit to how many books you can add to your wishlist.


After you have gone through the entire process the next time you are ready to borrow books from the library you simply click on the Calgary Public Library icon you have saved on your homescreen, sign in and select the books you would like to virtually borrow. You will be walked through several prompts to confirm your checkout. Once you click “Download” your MediaOverdrive Console app will open automatically and you can start to download your selection on the app. The download process usually takes about 15-30 seconds. It’s pretty darn quick.

Unlike books you have purchased in iBooks, Kobo etc., you will not be able to read the book on both your iPhone and iPad. You will need to download the copy of the book on your preferred reading gadget.

So now that I have shared how to download your own library books, I am going to go and enjoy my latest download before my daughter wakes up from her nap.

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  1. April 12, 2012
    • April 12, 2012

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