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 or Freading) 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.
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
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:
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.
Searching for Books
To search for books 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 Browse book at libraryname
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 available or recommendable at enabled libraries, but not present in the user's calibre library.
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, isbn, odid and odrid), 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 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.
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 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