eAudiobooks: Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of commonly asked questions about eAudiobooks. You can select a particular question or continue down the page to view all content.
- What are eAudiobooks?
- What do I need in order to check out and download eAudiobooks from the library?
- Does my library card have to be from KDL to check out eAudiobooks? What if my card is from a different library?
- What types of eAudiobooks does the library offer? Are they all old classics?
- How do I find out if the specific title I want is available as an eAudiobook?
- Why isn't my favorite book available as an eAudiobook? Can you order it?
- How many eAudiobooks can I check out at a time?
- How long can I keep an eAudiobook that I check out from the library?
- What happens when the eAudiobook is "due"? How do I "return" it to the library?
- Can I return an eAudiobook early if I'm finished with it?
- Can I renew an eAudiobook if I'm not done with it yet?
- Why do I have to place a hold for an eAudiobook? If these are electronic, why aren't there unlimited copies available?
- How many eAudiobooks can I place on hold at a time?
- How will I know when my eAudiobook hold is available for me?
- I don't want to wait — how do I find eAudiobooks that are available now, with no holds?
- I don't see my eAudiobook checkouts and holds when I log into my Lakeland account. Why aren't they listed?
- Is there a way to keep track of which eAudiobooks I've already listened to?
- Can I download library eAudiobooks to my iPod or other MP3 player?
- How do I transfer eAudiobooks to my iPod or other MP3 player?
- Can I download eAudiobooks at my local branch using the library computers?
- What is the difference between MP3 eAudiobooks and WMA eAudiobooks?
- I want to buy a portable eAudiobook player. Which one do you recommend?
- I'm getting a strange error message. What do I do?
Have additional questions?
Please fill out our Support Request Form or call us at 616-784-2007.
An eAudiobook is similar to a book on tape or CD, downloaded as a computer file. You can listen to the file directly from your computer or transfer it to a portable player such as an iPod or MP3 player.
To check out and download eAudiobooks from KDL, you need the following:
3. Does my library card have to be from KDL to check out eAudiobooks? What if my card is from a different library?
Yes, you must have a library card issued by the Kent District Library in order to check out eAudiobooks from ebooks.kdl.org. KDL pays an additional subscription fee to our eAudiobook provider (OverDrive) for this service, and is required to limit use to our own cardholders only.
However, most other libraries also subscribe to the OverDrive service, so you probably have access to eAudiobooks through your home library's site:
- Grand Rapids Public Library:
- Fremont, Hastings, Herrick (Holland), Loutit (Grand Haven), and Spring Lake Libraries:
- Other Lakeland Library Cooperative Libraries:
- Search for Your Library Nationwide:
KDL offers all types of eAudiobooks for all ages and reading tastes. You can find many of the latest releases, your favorite genres such as mysteries, romance, science fiction, biographies, and more, as well as eAudiobook collections just for kids and teens. Yes, there are "old classics" like those offered by many online eBook sites, but with your KDL library card, you have access to so much more, all for free!
The easiest way is to use the brown search bar right at the top of the ebooks.kdl.org site to search for a title, author, or keyword. You can also use the Advanced Search option to run a more specific search.
The online catalog of all library materials also includes eAudiobooks. You can use the link in the "Format" box on the left side of the screen to limit your search results to just those available as eAudiobooks.
Please note that there is a delay between when eAudiobooks are purchased and when their records are added to the main online catalog. For the most accurate and up-to-date results, searching directly on the ebooks.kdl.org site is recommended.
Unfortunately, not all publishers make their eAudiobooks available to libraries. If you would like to request a specific eAudiobook title, please fill out the Recommend a Purchase form and we would be happy to see if we are able to purchase it for the library's collection.
You can check out a total of 20 items at a time from KDL's OverDrive digital collection. Please note that this total includes any combination of both eBooks and eAudiobooks.
The default checkout period for eAudiobooks is 21 days, but you can also select a 7 day or 14 day checkout period. You can adjust your default checkout period for future checkouts by logging into My Digital Account and selecting the Settings link.
Once the checkout period for your eAudiobook is over, the eAudiobook file will automatically "expire" and you will no longer be able to access it on your computer or transfer it to a portable player. There is no need to "return" it to the library (and no worrying about overdue fines!)
Please note that even though you can no longer open the eAudiobook once it has expired, the eAudiobook file itself may still be stored on your computer or portable player. You may want to check the instructions for your particular device to find out how to delete files in order to open up storage space for other titles.
You can currently return eAudiobooks early only if they are in MP3 format. Doing so will be appreciated by other patrons who may be waiting for that particular title, and it also may help you stay under the 20-item digital collection checkout limit. For specific instructions on how to return eAudiobooks early for your particular device, click here.
Unfortunately, WMA-formatted eAudiobooks cannot be returned before the lending period is up. If you find that you are frequently nearing your 20-item digital collection checkout limit, you may want to choose a shorter checkout period for WMA eAudiobooks that you check out in the future.
The option to renew an eAudiobook becomes available 3 days before the title is set to expire, appearing next to the title in the Bookshelf section of your account on the ebooks.kdl.org site. If there are no existing holds on the title (indicated by a green Renew icon), you can borrow the eAudiobook again immediately once your first checkout expires. If there are already holds on the title (indicated by a grayed-out Renew icon), the Renew feature will place you back on the hold list and you can borrow it again as soon as your turn comes.
You may only use the Renew feature once for each checkout. Once you have renewed a title, its Renew icon will have a checkmark next to it. You can track which titles you've renewed from the Holds section of your account on ebooks.kdl.org. Once your renewed title becomes available, you will receive an email notification and you must check it out and download it again.
12. Why do I have to place a hold for an eAudiobook? If these are electronic, why aren't there unlimited copies available?
Most publishers require that library eAudiobooks are offered to only one person per copy at a time, similar to how physical books are checked out. They feel that this restriction helps maintain their profitability, as unlimited eAudiobooks available for free from the library would hurt sales of their eAudiobooks through commercial sites.
You may place up to 15 items on hold at a time from KDL's OverDrive digital collection. Please note that this total includes any combination of both eBooks and eAudiobooks, but it is completely separate from the 15-item hold limit for physical library items.
When an eAudiobook title that you have placed on hold becomes available, you will receive an email at the email address you specified when placing the hold. You will then have 3 days (72 hours) from the time the email is sent to log in to the ebooks.kdl.org site and checkout and download your eAudiobook. If you do not checkout your eAudiobook within the 3-day timeframe, your hold will be cancelled and the title will be sent to the next person on the hold list.
To find eAudiobooks that are immediately available, with no hold list, make sure to check the box labeled "Only show titles with available copies" when searching the ebooks.kdl.org site.
16. I don't see my eAudiobook checkouts and holds when I log into my Lakeland account. Why aren't they listed?
Account information, including checkouts and holds, for items from KDL's digital collection at ebooks.kdl.org is handled by OverDrive, the provider of our eAudiobook service. At this time they have no way to integrate eAudiobook account information into the Lakeland account system for checkouts and holds of physical library items.
Neither KDL nor OverDrive (our eAudiobook service provider) keep a record of which digital items you have downloaded in the past. However, you may find it helpful to go back to each title's page on the ebooks.kdl.org site after you finish it and give it a rating (1 to 5 stars). You will then be able to select the "Rated Titles" link in the "Lists" section of your account to display a list of the titles you have rated (and therefore listened to) in the past.
Yes, you can download library eAudiobooks to many popular portable players, including iPods and MP3 players.
Please check OverDrive's Device Resource Center for a complete list of compatible devices.
For instructions on how to download library eAudiobooks to a portable player, please see our Downloading Instructions page.
Please see our Downloading Instructions page for step-by-step guides to downloading and transferring library eAudiobooks to your portable device.
Unfortunately, you cannot download eAudiobooks using the public computers in our library branches due to software security restrictions. However, if you are able to bring your own laptop, tablet, or smartphone to the library, you are welcome to use our free high-speed wireless internet to download eAudiobooks onto your own device.
MP3 eAudiobooks can be played on most portable devices, but they are larger files and therefore take longer to download.
WMA eAudiobooks are smaller and faster to download, but because they are in Windows Media Audio format, they can only be downloaded to Windows computers and transferred to devices that are compatible with this format.
Check OverDrive's Device Resource Center to see what formats are compatible with your particular device. Please note that WMA eAudiobooks are not compatible with Macs or Mac-formatted iPods.
There are many things to consider when shopping for a portable device. Many electronics stores now offer demo products to try out to help you decide which one is most comfortable for you to use. And of course, you'll want to check OverDrive's list of compatible devices to make sure that the product you choose will work with KDL's eAudiobook collection.
Please check our Technical Troubleshooting page to see if a solution to your particular error message is provided. If not, please fill out our Support Request Form or call us at 616-784-2007 and a staff member will assist you.