Library and other configuration options can be accessed using the Customize plugin
The plugin supports multiple lending libraries. Individual libraries and their relative priorities are set in the plugin's configuration. Each library is identified by a short, unique name (chosen by the user), its service provider (OverDrive, 3M, Freading, OneClickdigital, Open Library or Amazon Prime) and a library-id. Configured libraries will only be used for searching and unlinking if they are enabled in the configuration by checking the first column.
The default configuration contains some sample libraries that can be enabled for searching. Additional libraries can be added as needed using the (+
) button and existing libraries can be removed using the (-
OverDrive is the largest provider of e-book lending library services. Books are available in EPUB and PDF formats via Adobe Digital Editions and Kindle formats via Amazon. Audiobooks are also available. Some OverDrive libraries allow recommendation of books for future acquisition.
You can find libraries supported by OverDrive by selecting the Library Search
tab at http://search.overdrive.com
. For OverDrive powered libraries the library-id is the host name of the library web site (e.g.: freelibrary.lib.overdrive.com
for the OverDrive site of the Free Library of Philadelphia). This can be found by examining the browser address bar after surfing to the library.
Optional User Credentials (OverDrive Only)
OverDrive Advantage allows individual lending libraries that are members of a consortium with a shared collection to have additional titles that are only available when their patrons are signed in. The plugin configuration has optional fields for the user's credentials for each lending library: branch ID number, library card number and PIN. Entering this data is not required and will only be useful if your lending library has OverDrive Advantage titles.
If you choose to configure your library credentials in the plugin, then a library card number is required. Some, but not all, libraries also require entry of a branch ID and/or PIN during sign in.
If your library normally prompts for the selection of a specific branch during sign in, the corresponding branch ID number will need to be entered as part of the configuration. This number can sometimes be found by observing the URLs being accessed during a manual sign in to the library. Look for something in the form of: https:/secure29.libraryreserve.com/library2go.lib.overdrive.com/80F91AB0-A5FE-41B7-8704-B2BEBE3A39E8/10/438/en/SignIn2.htm?branchid=120
As an alternative, you can enter your library card and PIN in the plugin configuration, but leave the branch ID field blank, check the first column to enable the library, and then perform a search for any book. The sign in process will fail, but the log of the search should contain a list of valid branches for the consortium along with their corresponding branch ID numbers.
Some libraries do not require a PIN or additional data field beyond the library card number. In those cases leave the PIN field blank in the configuration.
3M Cloud Library
Some lending libraries use 3M Cloud Library in addition to, or instead of, OverDrive. Books are available in EPUB and PDF formats via an application compatible with Adobe Digital Editions. 3M supports recommendation of books for future acquisition.
You can find libraries supported by 3M by using Lookup your library
. The library-id can be found by going to the library web site and examining the browser address bar for the portion of the URL following /library/
. For the Brooklyn Public Library the web site is http://ebook.3m.com/library/bpl/
and so the library-id is bpl
Freading provides access to many older titles. Books are available in EPUB and PDF formats via Adobe Digital Editions.
Find libraries using http://www.freading.com/libraries/chooser
. The library-id can be found by inspecting the host name in the browser address bar for the portion preceding freading.com. For the Free Library of Philadelphia the Freading web site is http://freelibrary.freading.com/index
and so the library-id is freelibrary
OneClickdigital provides access to audiobooks and a small selection of e-books. Audiobooks are playable using a proprietary app. E-books are in EPUB format using Adobe Digital Editions DRM. The library-id can be found by inspecting the host name in the browser address bar for the portion preceding oneclickdigital.com. For the Austin (TX) Public Library the OneClickdigital web site is http://austinpublictx.oneclickdigital.com
and so the library-id is austinpublictx
Open Library provides access to a very large collection of books. Books are available for borrowing in EPUB and PDF formats via Adobe Digital Editions. The PDFs contain scanned page images from print books and the EPUBs are generally of low quality with many OCR errors.
There is a small collection of public domain books available to anyone, called the Lending Library. There is also a much larger collection of books available to patrons of specific libraries, called In Library. Participating libraries can be found at https:/openlibrary.org/libraries
The default is to any match books in the Lending Library or In Library collections. This can be changed by setting the Branch-id field to a list of collection names separated by spaces. Allowed collection names are: lendinglibrary, inlibrary and printdisabled. (The last contains accessible books for the disabled.) The library-id should be left blank.
The Amazon Kindle Owners' Lending Library is available to Amazon Prime members and allows borrowing of one book per month from a limited selection on a registered kindle device.
The general configuration option Set amazon identifiers when links to Amazon Kindle editions are added
causes the amazon
book identifier to be updated to point to kindle editions discovered during search.
Currently only the US Amazon store at www.amazon.com
is supported. The library-id should be left blank.
Searching for Books
To search for books at configured libraries first highlight the desired book entries within calibre and the choose Search for selected books
from the plugin's menu. Searches can take a long time and so are done as jobs. After the search completes, a summary of results is shown. If accepted by the user, identifiers are added to the calibre book metadata for each match found to provide a link back to the lending library web page for that book. These links can be later used to open that web page, either through the plugin's menu or the book details panel.
Only one link per book will be shown under Ids:
in the book's details, corresponding to the highest priority library (first in configuration) from which the book is available. A plus sign after the library name indicates that the book is also available from other lending libraries (or in other editions) and the additional links can be found in the plugin menu as Borrow book at libraryname
Author Name Variants
The plugin searches for matching books using the primary (first) author of the selected calibre books. Searches are done multiple times with variants of the author's name to improve results, e.g., replacing middle names with initials. This usually works well, but can produce extraneous results for common author names and can miss results for pseudonyms and unusual name variants.
In order to provide more control over author name searching and matching the plugin configuration has a place for optional Author name variants
. These are entered one author per line with the author name as it appears in your calibre library first and any variants on the name to be used for searching following, separated by '&' characters. For example: Stephen King & Richard Bachman
If only a single name is entered then that only that name will be used in searching and no variants will be generated automatically. For example, entering just John Joseph Adams
will cause searches for books by that author to exclude books by John Adams
or John J. Adams
Placing an author name in square brackets will prevent searches using that name, even if books by that author are selected for searching. For example: [Deepak Chopra]
For a match to occur between a calibre book and a library book the first author listed for one must appear in the author list of the other. This rule is relaxed for anthologies, where any match between listed authors is accepted since the listing of authors for anthologies at library providers is often incomplete. Books are considered to be anthologies if they have more than two authors in calibre or have a tag containing the word anthology
When matching book titles, text in parentheses or following a colon is optional and a vertical bar ('|') can be used to separate alternate titles for the same book. Some examples of usage:
A book title sometimes prefixed with the series name will match either way if entered with parenthesis: (High Druid of Shannara) Jarka Ruus
A book that was published under multiple titles can match either one: The Barbie Murders (And Other Stories) | Picnic On Nearside
A book with an optional subtitle with match with or without it: The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life
Discovering Books Missing from calibre
Selecting the plugin menu choice Search for books by selected authors
will cause the search to look for the specific books selected and to also save a list of books by the author(s) of the selected books that are found at enabled lending libraries, but not present in the user's calibre library.
Selecting the plugin menu choice Discover books by keyword
will cause the search to look for books that match the selected keywords(s) in their title (or description for some providers), but are not present in the user's calibre library. Keywords are configured using Customize plugin
, one set of keywords per line. The discover-by-keyword menu choice will not appear unless at least one set of keywords is configured.
After search completion, these results can be accessed using the Manage discovered books
choice from the plugin's menu. A table of books is presented and the user can choose the action to be taken for each: add
to the calibre library as an "empty" book with minimal metadata (author, title, series, publisher, publication date, isbn, odid, odrid and odpid), ignore
so that undesirable books do not appear in subsequent searches, and discard
which will eliminate the book from the search results, but allows it to appear again in subsequent searches.
Books previously marked to be ignored can be displayed again using the Show Ignored
button. The Update Existing
button can be used to check if any of the listed books were recently added to calibre and if so mark them to be updated in calibre (by adding links and missing metadata) and then discarded from the list of discovered books.
Recommending Unavailable Books for Library Acquisition
The search configuration option Check for books that can be recommended for acquisition (slow)
will cause subsequent searches to do an additional check to find books not currently in the library's collection, but potentially available to recommend for acquisition. (Some books may be detected that are not truly available for library acquisition due to restrictions by the publisher, such as geographic restrictions.)
The Select previously linked books / Select all recommendable books
plugin menu item shows books not currently available in any of the configured lending libraries. When selected, these books will have a plugin menu choice of Recommend book to libraryname
which opens a web browser to the page from which the user can issue a recommendation for the library to acquire that book.
Some libraries do not support book recommendations.
Searching for Books Available for Purchase
The search configuration option Check for books that can be purchased (slow)
will cause subsequent searches to do an additional check to find books available for purchase by configured library providers.
The Select previously linked books / Select all purchasable books
plugin menu item shows books linked by this search. When selected, these books will have a plugin menu choice of Purchase book from libraryname
which opens a web browser to the page from which the user can purchase that book.
This is currently only available for Amazon US and Amazon (Prime) must be configured as a search provider. It can be used to quickly determine which calibre book entries are available in kindle format via Amazon.
Viewing Links for Available Books as a Custom Column
You can create a custom column to show books found to be available from an e-book lending library. Choose Preferences
-> Add your own columns
-> Add custom column
. Enter a Lookup name
and a Column heading
(or any other description you desire.) The Column type
should be Column built from other columns
, select Show checkmarks
and Sort/search column by
should be set to Yes/No
. Enter the following in the Template
You will need to restart calibre for the change to take effect.
Removing Links to Lending Libraries
Removing a lending library from the plugin's configuration has no effect on books that have already been linked to that library. The only noticeable difference is that the links to an unconfigured library will be shown with a default name (based on the provider and library-id) rather than the previously configured name for the library. So selecting a book and then clicking the plugin's icon will always show the links established for that book, whether or not the lending library still exists in the configuration.
You can remove links by either deleting the odid
identifiers under Ids
in the Edit Metadata
dialog for the book or by selecting Unlink selected book
from the plugin's menu. (The unlink function only removes links for unconfigured libraries and enabled libraries. It leaves unchanged any links to libraries that are configured, but not marked as enabled.)
Restore Default Configuration
The following steps can be used to restore the default configuration for the plugin: From the main Calibre screen select: Preferences
-> Open calibre configuration directory
. Navigate to the plugins
subdirectory and delete the file Overdrive Link.json