Digital Content FAQs

There is a new HPL OverDrive website for e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-videos.  Read more below!

For additional questions, please email us or call 832-393-1313.

Click here for other digital content FAQs.

If I have been a My Link cardholder registered to use the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog collection, will I have to do a brand new signup to use the HPL collection?

No. On June 1, My Link cardholders will be automatically transferred to the new HPL OverDrive website.  HPL online e-card cardholders and Houston ISD and Alief ISD LearningLink cardholders are included. Login with MyLink card number and PIN will not change. 

Will my library card from one of the other Houston Area Digital Media Catalog libraries work on the new HPL OverDrive website?

No.  But you may apply for a My Link card today!

Will my My Link card still work for the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog OverDrive collection after the change occurs?

No. You will be referred to the new HPL OverDrive site if you try to log into the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog.

Will I have to add HPL to my libraries in the OverDrive and/or Libby apps?

Yes. It should be available to add on June 1, 2020.

Will the new HPL OverDrive still have ebooks, e-audiobooks, and streaming e-videos? 

Yes.

Will HPL be automatically added to my libraries in the OverDrive and/or Libby apps?

No.  You will have to add HPL to your library list in the apps. It will be available to select on June 1. 

Will the allowed number of holds and checkouts change?

No.  You will still be allowed up to 15 checkouts and 10 holds at a time.

Will the checkout times change?

No. You will still be allowed to check out e-books and e-audiobooks for up to 14 days and e-videos may be checked out for up to 7 days.

Will I lose the titles I currently have checked out from the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog?

  • Checked out titles that have been downloaded to a computer or mobile device will not be lost.  They will remain on your device until their regular checkout expiration date. 
  • Checked out titles that have not been downloaded will be lost.  
  • Checkouts of streaming e-video will be lost, but they are always available so you can simply check them out again on the new HPL OverDrive website. 

Will I lose the my holds and wish list titles?

  • It depends. The HPL collection will not include all of the titles in the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog. If the titles on hold or on your wish list are in the new collection, they will stay.  If not, they will be lost.  
  • We recommend that you make a list of your holds and wish list before June 1. It is possible the titles you are interested in may become available on the new HPL site in the future, or they may already be available on another service the Houston Public Library offers, such as Axis360, hoopla, or RBdigital

Is there any way I can continue to access ebooks from the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog?

You might be eligible for a library card from one of the other Houston Area Digital Media Catalog member libraries. Contact any of the participating libraries directly today. 



Can two people with different library card numbers use the same device?

Yes.

Can I put my e-book on more than one device? 

Yes.

Can you tell me which e-reader I should buy?

No. For more insight, check out CNET and Consumer Reports for unbiased, reliable reviews.

Do I need to download special software to check out or read e-books?

**As of September, 2019 OverDrive for Mac Operating Systems is no longer supported.  We apologize for this inconvenience.**

  • On your tablet or smartphone, you may need to download an app.  For books offered by Overdrive, you will need the Overdrive app (or Libby).  For books offered in the Kindle format, you will need the Kindle app, etc.  There is also an app for Axis360 and RBDigital.
  • On your computer, you must have Adobe Digital Editions or use Overdrive Read in a compatible web browser.
  • On your Kindle, you do not need to download additional software.
  • On your Nook or another e-reader, you must have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer.
  • Download SimplyE  for Android and for iOS to search Overdrive ebooks, Axis 360 ebooks and RBDigital audiobooks all in one app!

Can you check out the e-book for me and put it on my device? Is there a computer at the library I can use to do this?

Library staff members can help in checking out e-books to your own device.

Do I have to come into the library to check out an e-book?

Everything can be done remotely from a computer or other device that can connect to the Internet.

Can I listen to e-audiobooks on my e-reader?

If your e-reader supports this.

Are all books in the library catalog available as e-books?

No.

Amazon Kindle E-books and Public Libraries

Amazon has provided information on how to find public library books for Kindle, how to check out a public library e-book for Kindle, and provides a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. 

What is an .acsm file and what do I do with it?

Files with an ".acsm" extension are associated with Adobe Digital Editions. When you double-click it or open it into Adobe Digital Editions, the file recognizes your rights to the e-book and downloads it to your computer.