Skip to Main Content

Using eBooks at UNC

How to locate, access, and navigate ebooks through the UNC Libraries collection


eBook Content

The North Carolina Digital Library hosted on OverDrive is a digital platform providing access to ebooks and audiobooks that can be read on the site or downloaded to a phone or tablet. The North Carolina Digital Library hosted on OverDrive has an extensive collection of both fiction and nonfiction titles.

Titles and subjects are based on your home library so different titles may be available depending on which library card you use on the platform. There may also be different wait times and borrowing lengths for materials specific to your home library.



The North Carolina Digital Library is available to anyone with a public library card in North Carolina. If you do not already have a library card all Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County residents can receive one for free by providing a proof of address to the Chapel Hill Public Library—regardless of how long you have been a resident! For information on receiving a Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) card visit this page.

Users can access the platform for ebooks in two ways:

Once you are logged into the Libby app your information will be saved and you will not need to log in each time to use the service.


Finding eBooks - Searching & Browsing

The North Carolina Digital Library provides many ways to search for and identify ebooks. The search bar at the top of the page populates with potential authors and titles as you type. Select an option or run your keyword search.

The "Subjects" tab allows you to browse ebooks by fiction and nonfiction subject areas.

The homepage also features rotating special collections, like new titles, banned books, beach reads, travel, and seasonal material.

North Carolina Digital Library Homepage (with use case diagram)


Borrowing eBooks

In order for users to read ebooks available on the North Carolina Digital Library, they must borrow the book. When viewing a title, click on the box for "Borrow" if the title is available. It will be checked out to your account for 21 days by default. If the title is not currently available for checkout, you may put a "Place a Hold" on the title. Overdrive or the Libby app will notify you via email—or push notification—when the title becomes available for you to checkout.

Navigate to your bookshelf by clicking the books icon at the top of the page. Under "Loans" you can view titles currently checked out to your account. You can also view titles on hold, past titles checked out, titles on your Wish list, and your check out history.

Reading eBooks

Users may read ebooks checked out under their account through various methods. If you have an Amazon account and Kindle device/app, you may follow the prompt to "Read now with Kindle" to download the book. Alternatively, there are options to "Read now in browser" or "Download EPUB ebook."

Returning eBooks

eBooks will be automatically returned at the end of the checkout period. However, you may return an ebook early so that is available for others to checkout by clicking the "Return" button for the title on your loans page.

Training and Tutorials

OverDrive Help Page

Navigate to OverDrive platform help page here to review instructions for getting started with the North Carolina Digital Library on OverDrive, how to navigate ebook borrowing, and how to use the Libby app. There are also tips for troubleshooting common problems.