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eBooks & Digital Audiobooks

Downloading MP3 Audiobooks Directly to a Mobile Device

Downloading MP3 Audiobooks Directly to a Mobile Device

Audiobooks can be downloaded directly to many mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, iPads, etc. The basic requirements are that you must be able to install apps on the device and that the audiobook is in MP3 format (not WMA).

Downloading audiobooks directly to a device is relatively straightforward. The details will vary slightly depending on the type of device, but the basic steps are outlined in the following sections:

NOTE: For downloading audiobooks to devices without wireless capability, or for downloading audiobooks in WMA format, see Downloading MP3 and WMA Audiobooks via a Windows Computer

After September 4, 2019, the Overdrive for Mac software will no longer be available. Mac users will no longer be able to download audiobooks onto their computer and then transfer them to an ipod or MP3 player. Mac users can still listen to VPL to Go audiobooks in their browser using Overdrive Listen or on an apple mobile device using the Libby app.

Install the Free OverDrive App on Your Device

  • On your device, visit the app store and search for OverDrive; download and install the OverDrive app
  • Alternatively, on your device, go to  OverDrive app website; choose the version for your device (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8); download and install the OverDrive app
  • During the installation,  you will be prompted to do one of the following:
    •  Sign up for an OverDrive Account (if you don't already have one, follow the prompts. This will allow you to read an eBook across multiple devices and sync your progress and bookmarks.)  Note: OverDrive will send a verification email to your email account.
    • Sign In with your OverDrive Account (if you have previously created one)
    • "I am under 13 years old. Continue"  (you can choose this option if you want to anonymously authorize the app, if you will not be reading or listening to books across multiple devices, or if you want to authorize your device with a pre-existing Adobe ID.)

Add Vancouver Public Library to Your OverDrive App

  • To access the menu, swipe from the left side of your screen or tap the icon in the top left corner and select Add a library
  • Type Vancouver Public into the search box and select Vancouver Public Library  from the search results
  • Add Vancouver Public Library to your saved searches by tapping on the star to the left of the name


Sign In, Find and Borrow Audiobooks

  • Swipe from the left side of your screen, tap on Vancouver Public Library
  • Sign In to your library account by tapping "Sign In" near the top right of the screen (you will need your library card and PIN)
  • Now you can browse or search for audiobooks  
  • When you find a title that you’d like to download, tap on the item to select it
  • Tap the Borrow button
    • If you see Place Hold instead of Borrow, the item is not currently available
    • You can place a hold if you wish, then return to searching for an available title
  • You will be taken to the Bookshelf section of your account. The title is now checked out to you.
  • The next step is to download it to your device


Note: Audio files can be fairly large. Depending on your data plan, you might prefer to download the audiobook via WiFi (rather than your cellular network).

Once an audiobook is checked out to you, you can download it whenever and wherever you want during the loan period by going to the Bookshelf section in VPL to Go. When you are ready to download, complete the following steps:

  • Go to the Bookshelf section of your account in VPL to Go and tap the download button
  • The audiobook will begin to download - audiobooks may take several minutes to download
  • Once the title has downloaded to the OverDrive app, swipe from the left side of your screen and select Bookshelf
  • Tap on the title to listen

Other Things You Can Do...

Other Things You Can Do...

View Only Titles that are Currently Available

To determine at a glance which titles are available, look at the headphones icon in the top right corner of the audiobook cover:

  • Dark Grey icon means that the title is available to be borrowed
  • Pale Grey icon means that all copies of the title are currently checked out

When browsing by genre or format, it is possible to hide all items that are currently checked out - look for the blue box on the left side of the screen that says Show me only titles with copies available.

Place Holds on Audiobooks that are Checked Out

If all copies of a title are in use, you can place a hold:

  • Select the Audiobook title you are interested in, then click the Place a Hold button
  • Sign in to your VPL to Go account with your library card number and PIN - Note: this is a separate account from My VPL where you would manage your library account for physical materials
  • Enter or confirm your email address to receive notification
  • When the title becomes available, you will receive an email notice
  • You will have 72 hours from the time the email was sent to check out the Audbiobook
  • If you do not check it out within 72 hours, it will go to the next person on the list
  • You can have a maximum of 5 holds at once

Check the Status of Your Holds

Sign in to your VPL to Go account with your library card number and PIN - Note: this is a separate account from My VPL where you would manage your library account for physical materials.

Select Account from the top right of the screen

Select Holds from the menu on the right


You will be able to see your position in the queue.

You can also cancel the hold from this menu or change the email address for notification using the Edit button.



Place an Advanced Hold (Renew Titles)

Not finished with your eBook or downloadable audiobook? Click on the Renew icon to place an advance hold on titles you currently have checked out. Renewing puts you in line to borrow a title again once your first checkout expires; it will count towards one of your five holds.

The option to renew a title becomes available three days before the title is set to expire, appearing next to the title on your Bookshelf in your VPL to Go account. You can only use the renew feature once for each checkout.

How to Place an Advanced Hold

1. Log into VPL to Go and sign in to your Account.

2. Go to your Bookshelf, select the Renew icon next to the title you'd like to renew. Note: This option does not appear until three days before the title is set to expire.

If there are no existing holds on a title, the Renew icon will be green (see example below). You can borrow this title again immediately once your first checkout expires - Note: you will need to redownload the audiobook.

If there are existing holds on a title, the Renew icon will be greyed out (see example below). You can still use the renew feature to reserve a spot on the title's wait list so you can borrow it again as soon as it's available.

3. Enter and confirm your email address in the renewal form, and click the Renew icon. The Renew icon on your Bookshelf will now have a green checkmark next to it (see example below).

 Return Titles Before the Expiry Date

eBooks and downloadable audiobooks are returned automatically after their lending period has expired. When a title expires, you can simply delete the expired audiobook from your device. For information on returning a title before the expiry date, please visit How to return titles before the end of your lending period.

(exception: OverDrive for Mac does not currently support the return feature)

  Open EPUB & Open PDF
  OverDrive Read

Try out Libby

Install Libby

  • On your device, go to the appropriate app store and search for Libby; download and install this app
  • Alternatively, on you device, go to Libby’s website and choose the appropriate version (iOS, Andriod, Microsoft); download and install the app

Authorize the app:

The process is very simple. The app itself will walk you through registering your card. If you want a trial run, Libby’s website can walk you through the process. You’ll see an image of a smartphone with a button marked “TRY” at the bottom – click on the “TRY” and it’ll walk you through the process of registering your library card. You can register several cards and, within the app, switch between them.

Find and Borrow Audiobooks

  • After you've authorized Libby, you're good to go. Opening the app in the future, you'll already be signed in and ready to search (or listen)
  • To search the collection, tap on the magnifying glass at the top and enter whatever you're looking for
  • To browse the collection, tap on Explore. From here you can browse the collection is many ways, including by new or popular titles
  • Once you find a title you're interested in, if it is available if will "Borrow", if it is checked out you'll be given the option to "Place Hold"
  • You can download a title after checking out by tapping "Play Audiobook"
  • You can also set up Libby to automatically download all titles. Tap the head at the top right of the screen, the tap "Set Up Libby". From there "Choose Download Behaviour". You will then be able to set up Libby to automatically download titles. At the same place there is the option to limit automatic downloads to wi-fi - a good idea if you check things out on the go

Some Simple Tricks to Navigating Libby

  • If you get a little lost, tapping "Library" at the bottom left will return you to the main Libby page
  • To see what you have checked out, tap "Shelf" on the bottom right of the screen
  • If you can't see these options, you may just need to get out of the screen you're currently on - check for "Hide" at the upper right