Explore With eLibraryNJ

If you have not taken a look at our eLibraryNJ collection of eBooks and digital audiobooks, or have not tried it out in a while, there are a lot of new, user friendly features to help you get started with digital content.  You may also have noticed the titles showing up in a catalog search and wondered what they are, so here is a guide to get you started using eLibraryNJ’s eBook and mp3 audiobook collection.

The eLibraryNJ collection is available 24/7 and features both eBooks and mp3 audiobooks that can either be streamed or downloaded to a device.  All you need is your library card to borrow a title.  New titles are added every month and recent changes to publisher contracts have made it easier for us to offer a wider variety of titles.

Since the content available on eLibraryNJ can be used on a variety of devices, getting started with the service depends a bit on which device you will be using to access the content.  Both eBooks and audiobooks are available on PCs, Macs, Android devices, iOS devices, Amazon Fire tablets and Windows phones and tablets.  Dedicated e-readers such as Kindle, Nook, and Kobo can use the eBook collection.  In many cases, you have the option of using the content online without needing any special software or you can download the content using either an app or software to transfer from a computer to a device.

Both eBooks and audiobooks have an easy-to-use version that only requires a web browser to access the content, the OverDrive Read and OverDrive Listen formats.  These versions can be borrowed and enjoyed simply by going to the eLibraryNJ website, borrowing a title, and then clicking the read or listen button.  A player will open right in the web browser and allow the user to stop, bookmark, change font style or size, or set a sleep timer.  The content is streaming, but also downloads in the background in case you happen to go offline.  Your progress is synchronized to the eLibraryNJ servers, so closing the browser will create a bookmark and you can pick up where you left off at a later date, either on the same device or on a different one, by logging on to the website and hitting the read or listen button next to the title in your list of checkouts.

Kindle Fire, iOS, and Android users can use one of the OverDrive apps to access content.  The newest app is Libby, which is being slowly rolled out on different platforms, so check for it in your device’s app store or on OverDrive’s Libby page.  The app is pretty straight-forward to use - just load it, make Mercer County Library System or eLibraryNJ your home library, and log on with your library card.  When you find a title you want to read or listen to, borrow it and download directly to your device.  You can then access it anytime you want, with no need to worry about using up your data plan.  You have the option of checking the title out for 7, 14, or 21 days and can return it earlier if you finish before the due date and want to check out something new.  Note that if you cannot use Libby on your device, the older OverDrive app still works, but for eBooks it does require you to log on with an Adobe account to authorize the device.  The mp3 audiobooks do not require this authorization.

If you have a plain mp3 player like a classic iPod or SanDisk and want to listen to mp3 audiobooks, download the OverDrive Media Console for your Mac or PC and use it to transfer titles to your player.  Once the program is installed, search the eLibraryNJ website from any web browser to borrow audiobooks.  Click the download button and the title will download directly to the OverDrive Media Console program.  You can then plug in your player and hit the transfer button.

For eBooks, plain Kindle users do not need to install any software or apps.  Just visit the eLibraryNJ website and checkout a title, then hit the download for Kindle button.  You will be directed to Amazon’s website - confirm you are logged on and OK the loan for your Kindle.  You can return or delete the title using the site’s manage my Kindle page.  Other plain e-readers, such as Nook and Kobo, require the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software, which should have come with your reader or can be downloaded from the Adobe website.  Just log on with or create a new Adobe account to authorize your computer.  When you check out a title on eLibraryNJ, select the download ePub option and the book will download directly to ADE, then you can plug in your e-reader and drag and drop the title to transfer it to the device.

The OverDrive help section is a great place to turn if you need more help using eLibraryNJ.  It features step-by-step getting started guides for different devices, as well as videos and FAQs about the service.

Make sure to log on to the site while browser, not just to borrow an item.  MCLS is now an OverDrive Advantage library, so some titles, and extra copies of popular titles, will only show up as available if you are logged in with your MCLS card.  If you do not see the title you are looking for, it is possible we can get it for you.  Just drop us a line using our suggestion for purchase form and we can look into adding it to the collection.  Be sure to note which format you want (eBook or mp3 audio) and that you are requesting it for eLibraryNJ.

- Laura, Information Technology

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