How to Recommend a Digital Book

By Jamie B. RSS Mon, December 14, 2020

For many Philadelphians, library access to free ebooks and audiobooks has been a lifesaver during the pandemic. We may not be able to go anywhere we want, but we can travel vicariously through someone else’s adventures or at least get inspired to declutter the spaces in which we’re stuck.

eBooks and audiobooks have been so popular during lockdown periods that libraries across the country have seen a surge in demand for digital titles. Since March 16, over 21,500 new users have registered for an OverDrive account at the Free Library. That’s a 48% increase from last year!

If you’re one of these new users, you may notice that while we have a wide variety of ebooks and audiobooks for adults, teens, and children, we don’t have everything. If you have ever wanted to ask if we could add a specific title to our collection, now you can through OverDrive’s Recommend to Library feature.

If you see a title that you’d like to read that we do not own, you can recommend we add it to our collection. Learn how by watching this short video or following these steps:

  1. Run a search in your library's digital collection.
  2. On the results page, select Recommend to Library under the "Availability" filter. Titles in the OverDrive catalog that your library doesn't own are added to your results.
  3. To tell which titles aren't part of the digital collection, look for a Not Owned banner and Recommend link. Click or tap Recommend to recommend a title.
    If prompted, sign in to your library.

  4. If prompted, enter and confirm your email address. Then, select Recommend.
  5. If your library buys the title, you'll be added to its waitlist and receive an email when your hold is available.

To see the titles you've recommended, select , then Recommendations.

Your library may limit the number of titles you can recommend in a given time period. You can see how many more titles you can recommend (or when you can recommend titles again) on your Recommendations page.

Please note, the Recommend to Library feature is only available via the OverDrive website or the classic OverDrive app. This feature is not available via Libby.

Are you one of the new OverDrive/Libby users who has registered since the pandemic began? If so, tell us in the comments section why you signed up and how your experience has been so far.

Happy e-reading!

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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There's a book I am interested in reading. It is book #2 in a series. I only read ebooks through OverDrive/Libby, not audiobooks. Book #1 is available in both ebook and audiobook. OverDrive's website shows that book #3, coming out in January 2021, will also be available in both formats. But book #2 is only available in audiobook. I wanted to recommend purchase of the ebook version, but when I followed the above instructions, which I was already familiar with, only the audiobook version came up. The OverDrive website also only shows the book being available as an audiobook. I also tried the recommend feature in OverDrive for three other library systems, Chester County and counties called Montgomery in two different states, Pennsylvania (MCLINC) and Maryland, and they also showed it only available as an audiobook. I looked at CloudLibrary, a different product, on the Bucks County Library website, and this platform also only has the title available in audiobook format, while books #1 and #3 in the series do show both formats there. Bucks has a different recommendation process, combining all formats on one form on their website. I tried to request this book as an ebook using this form, and they replied that it wasn't available as an ebook. I have contacted OverDrive directly to find out why it isn't available as an ebook, and they just kept telling me to recommend the ebook to my library. Which I can't do, because it doesn't show up! The book is "Murder of Innocence" by James Patterson. I did not bother to check Hoopla because James Patterson titles are never available on Hoopla as ebooks, only as audiobooks. So, do you happen to know why this title is only available as an audiobook and not as an ebook through OverDrive/Libby?
Ms Regina S Litman - Huntingdon Valley
Friday, December 18, 2020

Regina: You have followed all of the steps properly regarding recommending a title. And you are correct, the ebook of Murder of Innocence is not available to purchase through our vendor, OverDrive. Unfortunately, no record or estimated on-sale date currently exists for this title in ebook format in the OverDrive Marketplace, so I can't give you an ETA. We do, however, have this title available for checkout in print. If you would like to be placed on the wait-list, please schedule a Materials/Holds pickup. More details are below: CATALOG RECORD: FREE LIBRARY SERVICES:
Jamie B. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Monday, December 21, 2020

Great Article!
AUC Technologies - Karachi, Pakistan
Saturday, August 28, 2021

Would you please pickup the Smithsonian Air & Space magazine again. It is now a quarterly magazine. You being a library I bet they would comp the subscription. Another magazine that would really be nice to see again is Aviation week and space Technology. Thank you
Dave Simo - New Castle,PA
Wednesday, October 26, 2022