Why Buy When You Can Download eBooks for Free?

Did you get a nice, shiny e-reader for Christmas? How about a new iPod or MP3 player? Through your library’s newest service, Overdrive, you can checkout and download e-books and audiobooks without leaving your couch. (We also have music and videos available!)

All you need is your library card, a computer with an Internet connection, and free software.

How it works:

To start using Overdrive, visit our “Virtual Branch” at http://bossier.lib.overdrive.com/. Our homepage features iPod compatible audiobooks, the newest additions to our collections, and our most popular titles.

We have a variety of collections for you to browse on the left side of the page, including our audiobook (fiction /nonfiction), e-book (fiction / nonfiction), music, and video collections. These collections are broken down into different genres for more specific browsing. For example, our ‘Audiobook Fiction’ collection is broken down into several genres, such as Mystery, Romance, and Historical Fiction. We also have separate collections for children and teens. You can sort each collection by the date the titles were added, popularity, title, and creator.

Check out the public domain e-books from Project Gutenberg, which don’t count against your number of checkouts and are yours to keep forever.

To get started:

Find the “Software Downloads” link on the left side of our Virtual Branch Page. You must download two pieces of software:

  • Adobe Digital Editions: e-book software.
    • ADE will need to be activated with an email address. Follow directions on the installation screen. 
  • Overdrive Media Console: allows you to enjoy audiobooks, music, and videos.
Once you install the software, you will be ready to download some books!
  • Click on a title to download.
  • Click “Add to my Digital Bookbag.”
  • From there, you can “Browse for More Titles”, or “Proceed to Checkout.”

To Checkout:

  • You will be prompted to “Sign In.”
  •  Login with your library card number and PIN.
    • Your PIN is the last 4 digits of your library card number.
  • Select 7 or 14-day checkout.
  • Click “Confirm Checkout.”
  • Download your titles.
    • E-books will open in Adobe Digital Editions.
    • Audiobooks, music, and video will open in Overdrive Media Console
Once your titles are downloaded, you can transfer them to a portable device.

Don’t have a portable device? Not a problem! You can enjoy all of our downloadable materials directly from your computer!


  • Free of charge
  • Available 24/7
  • No late fees
  • No wait time for overdue returns
    • Once an item placed on hold returns to the system, you are immediately notified that it’s available to download

  • Publisher decides which titles are available and in which format
    • Some books not available at all
    • Some titles only available in one format
      • May be incompatible with Macs
    • However, we select the most versatile options for downloading, as well as the hottest titles as soon as they are available
  • One book, one user
    • We purchase individual electronic copies of a title, just like physical items.
    • If a book is checked out, it’s unavailable to other patrons.
    • However, you may put a hold on a book and will be notified via email when it is available.
  • No renewals
    • Can be checked out again immediately if no holds on item
  • No early returns
    • except for Adobe e-books

Getting started with this service may seem a little daunting, but have no fear! Once you get over the initial hurdles of downloading the software and transferring to a device for the first time, the process will be smooth sailing from there.


Kimberly is the Children’s Acquisitions Librarian and has worked at the Bossier Parish Library for 1.5 years. She has been fully immersed in Overdrive since September. Some of the downloadable titles she has recently enjoyed include “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen, and “The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore. You can contact her with Overdrive questions at overdrive@bossierlibrary.org

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