Digital Content FAQs

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

If I was an HPL MyLink cardholder registered to use the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog collection, do I have to do a brand new signup to use the HPL collection? 

No. On June 1, all HPL MyLink cardholders registered on the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog site were 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 did 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 an HPL MyLink card.  Apply here. 

Does my HPL MyLink card still work for the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog OverDrive collection after the change? 

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

Do I have to add Houston Public Library to my selected libraries in the OverDrive and/or Libby apps or my Kindle, or did it happen automatically? 

You will have to add it. Choose Houston Public Library, Houston, TX.    

Did the allowed number of holds and checkouts change? 

No change. You are still allowed up to 15 checkouts and 10 holds at a time. 

Did the checkout times change? 

No change. You are still 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.  

What happened to my holds and wish list titles?  

It depends.  The Houston Public Library collection does not include all of the titles in the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog. If the titles previously on hold or on your wish list are in the new collection, they stayed on your account.  If not, it was not possible to retain them. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. 

It is possible that the titles you are interested in may become available on the new Houston Public Library in the future or they may be available already on another service the Houston Public Library offers, such as Axis360, hoopla, or RBdigital.  

The number of titles available in the new HPL OverDrive collection will continue to grow. All titles previously recommended are still on the Library’s Collection Development selectors’ lists for possible future acquisition. You can use the OverDrive Recommend-to-Library suggestion feature to suggest them again if you’d like. 

What happened to my reading history? 

It was not possible to transfer reading history from the Houston Area Digital Media Catalog to the new Houston Public Library OverDrive.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.  

My MyLink library card number has changed and I signed up for a new Houston Public Library OverDrive account with my new number.  Can my Houston Public Library OverDrive accounts under the old and new card numbers be combined? 

Yes. Contact the Library to request and OverDrive account merge via email or call 832-393-2222. 

Include your name and both old and new card numbers in your request. 

How can I 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 them directly. 

For additional questions, please contact the Library at or call 832-393-1313.  You may also find answers from OverDrive Help.

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


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


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?


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.