Everything You Need To Know About Free Library E-Books

By Sharyl O. RSS Fri, August 4, 2023

Hey book lovers! Did you know you can read, read, read, with just a tap of your finger — and without ever having to go to the library? Try digital books, also known as e-books!

You can read e-books on your computer, phone, tablet, or e-reader (like Kindle, Kobo, or Nook) anywhere, anytime, even while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store! We also have e-audiobooks (talking books) and e-magazines. You can find them all on the Free Library's E-Book Database page. Here's a brief guide to the Free Library's e-reading resources:


E-Book Resources Available With Your Free Library Card:

  • Overdrive and its Libby mobile app

Browse, check out, and read over 67,000+ titles for adults, teens, and kids in e-book, e-audiobook, and e-magazine formats, with selections in 30+ languages. Access these e-resources via Overdrive on the Free Library website or download the mobile app Libby to read titles on the go.

  • Freading

Enjoy unlimited simultaneous access to over 200,000 e-book titles in 29 languages in every genre for adults, young adults, and children. Each title has a two-week loan that can be renewed for another two weeks. You can read six books per week or up to 24 per month. Freading has a great up-to-date travel section which includes the Lonely Planet series, a vast SparkNotes collection, religious titles, and comics/graphic novels. Freading has a mobile app available, too. 

  • Gale eBooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library)

You can do research from anywhere on your computer or tablet with over 500 nonfiction, fully searchable reference titles for children and adults. Accurate information from single and multivolume reference works on science, literature, history, business, law, multicultural studies, and more are available. Of note are the Business Plans Handbook, the College Blue Book, the Scholarships, Fellowships, and Loans resource, and technology titles for kids. 

  • eBooks on EBSCOhost

This resource has 20,000+ titles in 32 languages, for adults, kids, and young adults that you can read on your computer or tablet. Subject areas from careers, classics, Cliffs Notes, juvenile fiction and nonfiction, business, history, fiction, computers, travel, health, cooking, and more are included. 


E-Book Resources Especially for Kids:

  • BookFlix 

Take a look at this digital literacy resource, for grades preK–grade 3, which pairs hundreds of animated fiction stories with nonfiction e-books to build a love of reading. Some narrators are well-known, such as Stanley Tucci and James Earl Jones. Bookflix includes lesson plans for teachers and tips for parents. Categories include Earth and Sky, Family and Community, Music and Rhyme, Nature, ABCs and Numbers, plus more. It's fun! 

Download fiction and nonfiction e-books and audiobooks for kids of all ages. Titles include picture books, Harry Potter, BLM titles, trending books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Spanish titles. These can also be accessed via the main Overdrive page and the mobile Libby app.

  • TumbleBooks

An online collection of animated, talking picture books in English, French, or Spanish that teaches kids from kindergarten through grade 6 the joy of reading engagingly. Story books, read-alongs, nonfiction videos, language learning, puzzles, and biographies are included. Titles are indexed by A/R and Lexile level, so you can find age-appropriate titles. A mobile app is available, too.

  • TrueFlix

Watch a short film on a nonfiction topic, and then learn more in a book, and follow up with activities and projects all with TrueFlix. Learn about people, places, history, science, and technology like black holes, the U.S. government, or the animal kingdom. Great for grades three and up. It is ATOS and Lexile-level searchable. 

These great e-book resources are waiting for you. You will need a Free Library card to access our E-Book resources. If you do not have one, you can sign up for a library card today. Happy 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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How to join the free library reading on my nook
Rajkumar. Harotari - ATLANTA
Monday, August 7, 2023

Please bring back Hoopla.
Joselle Palacios - Philadelphia
Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Rajkumar, you can borrow ebooks from your library and transfer them to compatible ereaders like a Nook using free Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software on your Windows or Mac computer. You can see the instructions on this link: https://help.overdrive.com/en-us/0481.html
Sharyl O. - Philadelphia
Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Joselle, thank you for reaching out. We are looking into this.
Sharyl O. - Philadelphia
Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Hoopla needs to come back.
Ashley S - Philadelphia
Saturday, August 12, 2023

Hi,I would love to have a online library card to access to your huge selection,I'm of out of the state..some people have told me that is possible to have one (that they do being a non resident of the state)..please can you tell me if I really can and what to do for to get one? Thank you and have a good day
Eileen Lawrence - Colorado
Saturday, August 12, 2023

Eileen, In order to focus its efforts and resources on customers in its direct service area, the Free Library of Philadelphia no longer offers paid-access cards for out-of-state residents. Thank you for your interest!
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Monday, August 14, 2023

Ashley, thank you for reaching out. We are looking into this.
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Monday, August 14, 2023

I had access through Libby, until a few days ago when I needed to verify. I did and my password is correct according to your records but I am not able to update. Please let me know what I should do next, because I love reading your large selection of ebooks. Thanks, Karen
Karen Batula - Cleona, PA
Thursday, August 17, 2023

Karen, it appears that your card is expired. Log into your account on our website and look for the message near the top of the screen stating that your account has expired, and click on the link to renew the account. Once you complete this process, our system will give you an expiration date two months off. Log out, and then log back into your account again and look for the link to verify your account. Once you verify your account, you will be given a full year.
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Thursday, August 17, 2023