How to get library books on your Kindle for free and borrow the latest titles

Kindle in library
If you have a library account, you can borrow ebooks and read them on your Kindle.

  • You can get library books on a Kindle device through Amazon’s partnership with OverDrive, as long as you have a library membership with a participating institution.
  • You can download library books on your Kindle through your library’s website or using the OverDrive website. 
  • Not all libraries offer Kindle support, and some titles might be restricted and thus unavailable to download on your Kindle. 
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While Amazon’s Kindle allows owners to purchase or rent ebooks from the company itself, some people may not know that access to your latest favorites on your e-reader is only a library card away. Those with a membership at their local library can access electronic books for free, thanks to Amazon’s partnership with OverDrive. 

It should be noted that not all libraries support the OverDrive lending system, so you’ll need to verify that yours does before proceeding. Additionally, some Kindle Books such as picture books, read-alongs, and graphic novels will not be supported by the Kindle app or some devices. 

When checking out a book, whether through your library or the OverDrive site, you’ll want to find a “Device restrictions” link, or something similar, under the “Available formats” section to confirm compatibility. You can also read the book, once borrowed, within the OverDrive app if you don’t have your Kindle handy.

Once all of that is in place, you’re ready to get started. Here’s how to read library books on your Kindle. 

What you need to read library ebooks on your Kindle 

Checking out ebooks through OverDrive is a relatively straightforward process, but you will need a few things in addition to your library membership before proceeding. 

  • A Kindle device, the Kindle Cloud Reader, or the Kindle app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.  
  • An access pin to the OverDrive catalog, which can be obtained from your library. 
  • A Wi-Fi connection or a computer and USB cord through which to load your borrowed books onto your Kindle device

How to check out library books on a Kindle through your library’s website

1. Visit the website of your local library and log into your account. 

2. Use the library website’s search tool to find eBooks or Kindle books. 

how to get library books on your kindle 2
You can browse your library’s digital collections for Kindle ebooks the same way you browse for other titles.

3. Follow the website’s instructions for checking them out. This will usually involve going to a title’s details page and hitting the “Borrow” link. 

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You will need to use the “Borrow” link to begin the process for loaning out the ebook to read on your Kindle.

4. During checkout, there should be an option to sign in to your Amazon account with your username and password. Follow the process, including selecting the Kindle device you would like your book(s) to be sent to. 

5. Check that your Kindle is connected to WiFi. 

6. Finally, download the library book via the device’s Archived Items or Cloud section, both of which can be accessed through your Kindle’s settings. 

How to check out library books for your Kindle through the OverDrive website 

1. Go to www.overdrive.com and sign in. 

2. Open your library’s digital collection. 

3. Search for and find the book you want to borrow using the site’s advanced search, format filter, or by visiting an ebook’s details page and verifying that Kindle is an available format.  

4. Titles will appear in two different formats. One will feature only an image of the book cover with the title and author. The other will feature the book cover, title, and author, with a designation that it’s an “Ebook” and a link to “Borrow” it.  

5. If the format you see has the “Borrow” link, click it. 

6. If prompted, sign in to your library account. 

7. If a lending period is available, select it now. 

8. Choose “Borrow” again.

9. If the format only features the cover, author and title, click or tap the “More” option to be redirected to the ebook’s details page. 

10. Select “Borrow” before signing in to your library account, if prompted. 

11. Go to your Account dashboard and access the Checkouts page. 

12. The process for both formats should now be the same, and you should see the option to “Read now with Kindle.” Click that link. 

13. You’ll be redirected to Amazon’s site. If you aren’t signed in, do so. 

14. Choose “Get Library Book” and verify that the “Deliver to:” device is your Kindle if prompted. 

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