1. What are Audio Books?

An Audio Book is similar to a book on tape or CD, downloaded as a computer file. You can listen to the file directly from your computer or transfer it to a portable player such as an iPod or MP3 player.

2. What do I need in order to check out Audio Books from the library?

To check out and download Audio Books from HPL, you need the following:

  • A HPL library card in good standing (less than $10.00 in fines)
  • A computer or mobile device with an Internet connection
  • Free software from Overdrive

3. Does my library card have to be from HPL to check out Audio Books? What if my card is from a different library?

You have to have a Hackley Public Library Card or a card from a participating Lakeland Library Cooperative Library to use Overdrive.  Overdrive is subscription based, so we have to limit the users to those whose library pays for that subscription.

However, most other libraries also subscribe to the OverDrive service, so you probably have access to Audio Books through your home library's site:

4. What types of Audio Books does the library offer? Are they all old classics?

HPL offers all types of Audio Books for all ages and reading tastes. You can find many of the latest releases, your favorite genres such as mysteries, romance, science fiction, biographies, and more, as well as Audio Book collections just for kids and teens.

5. How do I find out if the specific title I want is available as an Audio Book?

Overdrive  has search capabilites that allow you to search by title, author, genre, or narrator, for example.

The online catalog of all library materials also includes Audio Books. You can use the link in the Format box on the left side of the screen to limit your search results to just those available as Audio Books.

Please note that there is a delay between when Audio Books are purchased and when their records are added to the main online catalog. For the most accurate and up-to-date results, searching directly on the Overdrive site is recommended.

6. Why isn't my favorite book available as an Audio Book? Can you order it?

Unfortunately, not all publishers make their Audio Books available to libraries. If you would like to request a specific Audio Book title, please give us a call (231-722-7276), email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or stop in at the Reference Desk and make a suggestion.  We would be happy to see if we are able to purchase it for the library's collection.

7. How many Audio Books can I check out at a time?

You can check out a total of 5 items at a time from HPL's OverDrive digital collection. Please note that this total includes any combination of both eBooks and Audio Books.

8. How long can I keep an Audio Book that I check out from the library?

The default checkout period for Audio Books from Overdrive is 14 days, but you can also select a 7 day  checkout period. You can adjust your default checkout period for future checkouts by logging into My Digital Account and selecting the Lending Periods link.

9. What happens when the Audio Book is due? How do I return it to the library?

Once the checkout period for your Audio Book is over, the Audio Book file will automatically expire and you will no longer be able to access it on your computer or transfer it to a portable player. There is no need to return it to the library (and no worrying about overdue fines!)

Please note that even though you can no longer open the Audio Book once it has expired, the Audio Book file itself may still be stored on your computer or portable player. You may want to check the instructions for your particular device to find out how to delete files in order to open up storage space for other titles.

10. Can I return an Audio Book early if I'm finished with it?

You can currently return Audio Books early from OverDrive's Media Console. Doing so will be appreciated by other patrons who may be waiting for that particular title, and it also may help you stay under the 5-item digital collection checkout limit. For specific instructions on how to return Audio Books early for your particular device, click here

11. Can I renew an Audio Book if I'm not done with it yet?

There is currently no mechanism in place for renewing a digital item such as an Audio Book. However, you may log back into Overdrive and download the title again immediately if no else is waiting for it, or place a hold on the title if there are no copies currently available.

12. Why do I have to place a hold for an Audio Book? If these are electronic, why aren't there unlimited copies available?

Most publishers require that library Audio Books are offered to only one person per copy at a time, similar to how physical books are checked out. They feel that this restriction helps maintain their profitability, as unlimited Audio Books available for free from the library would hurt sales of their Audio Books through commercial sites.

13. How many Audio Books can I place on hold at a time?

You may place up to 7 items on hold at a time from HPL's OverDrive digital collection. Please note that this total includes any combination of both eBooks and Audio Books, but it is completely separate from the 5-item hold limit for physical library items. 

14. How will I know when my Audio Book hold is available for me?

When an Audio Book title that you have placed on hold becomes available, you will receive an email at the email address you specified when placing the hold. You will then have 3 days (72 hours) from the time the email is sent to log in to the site on which you reserved the book and checkout and download your Audio Book. If you do not checkout your Audio Book within the 3-day timeframe, your hold will be cancelled and the title will be sent to the next person on the hold list.

15. I don't want to wait — how do I find Audio Books that are available now, with no holds?

To find Audio Books that are immediately available, with no hold list, make sure to check the box labeled Only show titles with available copies when searching the Overdrive site.

16. I don't see my Audio Book checkouts and holds when I log into my Lakeland account. Why aren't they listed?

Account information, including checkouts and holds, for items from HPLs digital collection  is handled by OverDrive, the provider of our Audio Book services. At this time they have no way to integrate Audio Book account information into the Lakeland account system for checkouts and holds of physical library items.

17. Is there a way to keep track of which Audio Books I've already listened to?

Neither HPL nor OverDrive (our Audio Book service provider) keep a record of which digital items you have downloaded in the past.  However, you may find it helpful to go back to each title's page on the Overdrive site after you finish it and give it a rating (1 to 5 stars). You will then be able to select the Rated Titles link in the My Digital Account section to display a list of the titles you have rated (and therefore listened to) in the past.

18. Can I download library Audio Books to my iPod or other MP3 player?

Yes, you can download library Audio Books to many popular portable players, including iPods and MP3 players.

Please check OverDrive's Device Resource Center for a complete list of compatible devices.

For instructions on how to download library Audio Books to a portable player, please see the downloading instructions at Overdrive.

19. How do I transfer Audio Books to my iPod or other MP3 player?

Please see the Downloading Instructions pages at Overdrive for step-by-step guides to downloading and transferring library Audio Books to your portable device.

20. Can I download Audio Books at my local branch using the library computers?

Unfortunately, you cannot download Audio Books using the public computers in our library branches due to software security restrictions. However, if you are able to bring your own laptop, tablet, or smartphone to the library, you are welcome to use our free high-speed wireless internet to download Audio Books onto your own device.

21. What is the difference between MP3 Audio Books and WMA Audio Books?

MP3 Audio Books can be played on most portable devices, but they are larger files and therefore take longer to download.

WMA Audio Books are smaller and faster to download, but because they are inWindows Media Audio format, they can only be downloaded to Windows computers and transferred to devices that are compatible with this format.

Check OverDrive's Device Resource Center to see what formats are compatible with your particular device. Please note that WMA Audio Books are not compatible with Macs or Mac-formatted iPods.

22. I want to buy a portable Audio Book player. Which one do you recommend?

There are many things to consider when shopping for a portable device. Many electronics stores now offer demo products to try out to help you decide which one is most comfortable for you to use. And of course, you'll want to check OverDrive's list of compatible devices to make sure that the product you choose will work with HPL's Audio Book collection.

23. I'm getting a strange error message. What do I do?

Please check the Troubleshooting pages at Overdrive to see if a solution to your particular error message is provided. If not, please contact Overdrive.


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316 W Webster Ave. -- Muskegon, MI, 49440 --  231-722-8000

Circulation Ext: 8000, Reference Ext: 8011, Tech Ext: 8012, Youth Services Ext: 8014, Local History Ext: 8016