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​​Greater Phoenix Digital Library - FAQs

​What is needed in order to download an item in GPDL (Greater Phoenix Digital Library)?

  • A valid library card and PIN (password).
  • Access to the Internet.
  • Depending on the format you choose, you may need free software for the device or computer on which you wish to use your items.
  • A valid email address so you can be notified when your titles are available for download.
  • An OverDrive Account is needed to sync material on multiple devices. Sign up for one here​.
  • Certain players and devices may have special requirements to play the downloaded content correctly. Go here for a list of compatible devices. Please note that your device may need firmware, operating system, or software updates to be fully compatible. For detailed information and troubleshooting, please see the FAQ section for the format you want to download on the OverDrive help pages.​

What is OverDrive READ? How do I read an ebook in my browser?

If an ebook title is available in the OverDrive READ format, and you are using a device that has a compatible web browser, you can simply select the "Read" button after you borrow an item and read it in your browser. From inside the book, click or tap the bookmark icon in the upper-left to save your position (this will be saved across multiple devices). To read offline in your browser, just add the title to your favorites or bookmark it in your browser. More information can be found on OverDrive's How to use OverDrive READ page and the OverDrive READ FAQ.​

How long do I keep titles?

Users can set their own default lending period on a format-by-format basis. Sign into your Account and choose Settings to change your default lending options. If you do not set any lending periods, the system-wide default for all formats will continue to be 14 days. You have the options to set defaults for 3, 5, 7, or 14 days depending on format.​

Can I return an item early?

Yes. Find out how.​​

How do I download?

"Borrowing" and "Downloading" are two separate actions. The checkout period begins when you "borrow," not when you start downloading. Before you download the first item to your MAC or PC, you need to download OverDrive Media Console software for audiobooks or music and Adobe Digital Editions for e-books. There are links to download both the OverDrive Media Console and Adobe Digital Editions on the OverDrive Software Download page.  If you have a mobile device, you'll want to install the OverDrive app. Learn more about the app needed for your device here​. ​

After you've borrowed the item, you have the option to "download" in the formats available to you. Follow the prompts to download to your device. 

Audiobook titles are split into parts. You can download all parts or just a few, and come back for more. Select the parts you desire, and click "OK" to start the download. Once the download is complete, you can close your Internet connection and access the file offline.​

How do I stream a video?

Once you have checked out a video, just click play from your Bookshelf.  All videos through GPDL are streamed, so you will need an Internet connection. Videos cannot be downloaded for offline use at this time. 

If I want to listen to audiobooks, should I choose MP3 or WMA format?

​It depends on your device. MP3s will download wirelessly to almost any device with the OverDrive app. WMAs (Windows Media Audio files) must be downloaded to a Windows PC, then transferred to any other device. 

Why do some titles only have one format option available? What if I need the Kindle format or the MP3 format for my device?

​Library selectors purchase every format available when selecting an item, but unfortunately, some publishers restrict items to one format.  If the item does not have a choice of formats, we were only able to purchase it in one format, for example: EPUB or WMA. 

I saw a book on Amazon that I'd like the Library to purchase, can I recommend titles?

​You can recommend titles, but please be aware that many titles available on consumer sites, such as or Barnes and Noble, are not available for library purchase. This decision is made by the ebook or audiobook's publisher. 

You can recommend titles by logging in to your GPDL Account and choosing "Additional Titles to Recommend" or by searching for an item. When you select "Recommend", you will have the option of inputting your email address to be notified if the library purchases the item. You will also be able to have a hold placed for you when the item is purchased. 

You can also recommend titles by ​​going to "Suggest a Purchase" on the Library's website.  Please be sure to specify which format you would like. 

How do I get started?

​​The best way to get started is by watching a ​quick "how to " video based on your device. You can find a collection of getting started videos here.​ You can find out everything you need to know, from start to finish.

How do I check out an item?

Browse the collection or the featured lists from the Greater Phoenix Digital Library homepage (OverDrive). (You can also find titles in the Library's catalog that will directly link you into the GPDL site – just click the "View Item" link from the catalog. Note: the catalog will not indicate availability status.) The GPDL homepage is frequently updated with changing featured titles. You can do a quick search using the Search box at the top of the page or choose Advanced Search to limit to certain formats, subjects or availability.

Clicking on a book's cover will access the item record, giving you more information and the ability to borrow the title. Click on "Borrow" to begin check out, or click "Place a Hold" to access the waiting list. If you are not already logged in, it will prompt you to do so at this time. Once a title has been borrowed, you can either download to a particular device or read it directly in the browser (when available). Use the back button on your browser to continue browsing.​

What is the difference between the GPDL (Greater Phoenix Digital Library) and OverDrive?

The Greater Phoenix Digital Library is a collection of materials provided to customers from several different library systems, including Phoenix Public Library.  OverDrive is the company that maintains the site, the name of the software/app and the providers of technical support. 

I changed my eCard to a regular library card, does my account stay the same?

​You will need to merge your eCard and library card accounts to retain access to any borrowed items or holds.  To merge your accounts, contact Overdrive via email with both card numbers.  If you do not have both card numbers, contact Library Staff.​ ​

How many items can I check out at once?

You can have any combination of up to 10 items per library card from the GPDL. This is in addition to the 35 physical items that can be checked out per Phoenix Public Library card. 

What software is needed for digital media?

If you want to listen to audiobooks on your computer or transfer them to an audio player, you will need the OverDrive Media Console software​​ for Mac or PCs.

If you want to read e-books on your computer or transfer them to your e-reader, you will need Adobe Digital Editions (unless the e-book is available in the OverDrive READ format).

If you want to listen to audiobooks or read e-books on your mobile device, you will need to download the app for your mobile device (unless the e-book is available in the OverDrive READ format). Find out more about the app needed for your device here. Not all mobile operating systems allow you to read e-books. Make sure you are running the current operating system and have updated the OverDrive app.​

​I want a title that is checked out. What do I do?

You may place a hold on any title after logging in to your GPDL account. Within an item's record you can see the number of "Available Copies" and the number of "Library Copies." If there are no copies available, the "Borrow" button is replaced by "Place a Hold." You will need an email address to be notified that the hold is ready.​ 

You will also have the option of choosing "Auto Checkout" for each item.  If you choose auto-checkout, the item will be automatically checked out to your account when it becomes available. It will appear in your Bookshelf with other checked out items. If you do not choose auto-checkout, you will receive an email telling you that you have 48 hours to check out your hold. Holds that are not automatically checked out will appear under Holds in your account. 

How many items can I have on hold at one time?

You can have 8 items on hold at one time.​

How do I cancel or suspend a hold?

  • Sign in and ​click on Account.
  • Go to Holds.
  • Click on the Options button next to the title.
  • Cancel or suspend your hold.  You can also edit your email address or choose auto-checkout here. 

What if my question isn't listed here?

OverDrive has an extensive help page, and you can contact them directly from this contact form