9 Easy Tips for Borrowing eBooks from the Pratt

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By Brittney Baltimore

A December Forbes article identified tablets and eReaders as some of the most sought-after gifts this Holiday Season. If you received a new reading device and are interested in borrowing library eBooks (why wouldn’t you be!), I have some great news. Maryland’s Digital eLibrary Consortium powered by OverDrive recently received a facelift. This is good news for you because the update succeeded in making Maryland’s Digital eLibrary Consortium more user friendly, thus making it easier for you to borrow eBooks!

eLibrary graphicA generous grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has also made eBooks more accessible by allowing for the establishment of The Pratt eLibrary. The Enoch Pratt Free Library was able to purchase eLibrary stations and new Sony eReaders for circulation, and has also increased the number of books available to Pratt Library card holders via Maryland’s Digital eLibrary Consortium. And having a Pratt Library card increases the number of books available to you because you also have exclusive access to the Pratt Library Advantage Collection.

3 great Maryland’s Digital eLibrary updates

  1. The menu is available at the top, from any page on the website. The menu allows you to easily search for eBooks by categories such as eBook Fiction, Audiobook Nonfiction, etc. The ability to access the menu from any page of the website allows you to search and find eBooks with greater ease.
    Overdrive Menu Screencap
  2. The borrowing process is more streamlined; three clicks and you are ready to download an eBook. If the eBook is available, you click Borrow, then click Go to Bookshelf, and from the Bookshelf you are able to select an eBook format for download.

  3. My favorite improvement is that OverDrive now offers a new in-browser eBook reader. It works like any eBook reading app, except you don’t need to activate or install extra software. This feature provides flexibility when you don’t have your eReader with you. If you have access to a web browser, then you have the ability to read your eBook!

3 quick tips to make sure you have a positive experience with Maryland’s Digital eLibrary

  1. If you visit the Central Library or the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch, look for the Pratt eLibrary station. The Pratt eLibrary station is a large touchscreen monitor that allows you to easily browse Maryland’s Digital eLibrary collection. It’s helpful to know what the Maryland Digital eLibrary has to offer before diving into the eLibrary on your own device.

  2. Always sign in with your Pratt Library card before searching for eBooks so that you have access to the Pratt Library Advantage Collection.

  3. You can change your lending period for eBooks and Audiobooks by clicking the Account icon at the top of the web page and then going to the Settings page. You have an option of choosing a checkout period of 7, 14, or 21 days.

3 ways to Get Help

  1. The OverDrive Help is a great resource. You will find information about most eReader devices, Library lending policies, as well as OverDrive Media Station and Adobe Digital Editions Software downloads that are required to read eBooks on some devices.

  2. The Pratt Library has published a Help with eBooks and eReaders web guide. Take a look at upcoming eBook training opportunities. The eBooks 101 class is offered at the Central Library, and the first class date is Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 (6:00 pm–8:00 pm). There are also ongoing eReader clinics at the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch. Sign up for a time slot and receive one-on-one attention and instruction from a librarian.

  3. Don’t forget to ask a Librarian! If you can't make it to a Library location, you can call Telephone Reference (410-396-5430) to receive help over the phone.


Great website thank you. Just a quick question because, I am new at this. I am a Senior citizen and, it takes me a good while to read. Learning to read ebook on cellphone takes me longer..so can you renew an ebook?
Posted by: Cindy at 9/29/2014 9:19 p.m.

It is possible to renew eBooks from our collection. The option to renew an eBook appears within the last three days of the lending period. Visit the Maryland Digital Library website, log into your account, then click on the Account button to see your Bookshelf. The Renew button appears under the eBook's cover image. The Renew function for eBooks is not quite the same as renewing a physical book from the library. When you renew an eBook, you are essentially placing a hold on that item. If there is a copy of the eBook available, the Renew button will appear green. The next screen will prompt you for your email address. Once the original lending period ends, you will receive an email providing instructions on how to checkout and download the eBook again. You can only renew an eBook one time, but once the eBook expires after the renewal, you always have the option to find it and check it out again. Sincerely, Anjanette
Posted by: Anjanette at 9/30/2014 2:31 p.m.

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