eBooks & More

New Collection: zinio for libraries

Check out our downloadable eBook, audiobook, and music collections! For more help with devices and downloading, see our Computers & Technology subject guide.


Known Technical Issues – Updated November 3, 2014 – Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 and privacy

Our Digital Collections

3M Cloud Library

 An eBook lending service that offers thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles for all ages. The Cloud Library is an easy way to browse and check out eBooks, place holds and return titles.     Help
GVPL Library to Go A collection of popular downloadable eBooks and audiobooks for all ages, available to residents of the Greater Victoria Public Library service area. If you live outside our service area and use another participating BC library, you can use BC Libraries To Go.     Help     FAQs
hoopla A digital media service that allows you to borrow free movies, television shows, educational/instructional videos, documentaries, music, and audiobooks. You borrow hoopla titles via a browser, smartphone or tablet (iOS 6 and select Android devices).  As you will note when reading the hoopla terms of use and privacy policy, when you create a hoopla account your email address, hoopla password, library barcode and password, and the date of your last login are stored in the U.S. (passwords are stored in encrypted form). Not available at GVPL locations.  FAQs

zinio for libraries

 Current issues of popular magazines: news, business, entertainment, fashion, and more…. Read instantly on your computer, download to your tablet, or phone. Please note: When you create a zinio for libraries account your email address, account password, library barcode and name will be stored in the US (passwords are stored in encrypted form).
Freegal A collection of popular MP3 music.  Allows residents of the Greater Victoria Public Library service area to download 5 songs each week and keep them permanently at no charge.
TumbleBooks Animated picture books, novels, and classics with sound, music and narration as well as read-along titles for students from K-12 and ESL. Read these books online or listen as they are read aloud – not downloadable. [Requires Flash]    FAQs
TumbleBooks for iPad Animated picture books, novels and classic with sound, music and narration for iPads – not downloadable.
TumbleBookCloud Formerly TumbleReadables. Read-along books for students K-12. Great for reluctant readers and ESL. Read these books online or listen as they are read aloud – not downloadable. [Requires Flash]     FAQs
Gale Virtual Reference A selection of reference eBooks. Includes encyclopedias, medical reference titles, and more.
KnowBC.com Contains The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed: Frontier Women of British Columbia, and Far West: The Story of British Columbia, as well as other eBooks about British Columbia’s social, political, and natural history.
AudioBookCloud.com Audiobooks for all ages. Sign in and you can stream contemporary fiction, nonfiction and English and American classics (with some Spanish translations). Plays, including Shakespeare are also part of the collection. There is no software to download and the books are always available. AudioBookCloud is configured for mobile devices. [RequiresFlash]     FAQ
Biblioenfants.com  Livres d’images animés et parlants, comprenant des albums pour enfants, des romans jeunesse et romans classiques, des jeux et des vidéos instructifs ainsi qu’une section pour apprendre les langues. S’addresse aux jeunes depuis la maternelle jusqu’à fin secondaire. Le texte ajustable apparaît surligné lors de la narration. Outil parfait pour encourager la lecture et pour les étudiants de langue seconde. [Flash est nécessaire]
BC Library2go A shared provincial collection of downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks for all ages. Access to titles in the BC Library2go collection is limited to titles purchased before April 1, 2012. A title is unavailable to borrow if it displays the message: “This title is not available to all member libraries. If needed, please check your local library’s collection.” If the title is not available in GVPL Library to Go, please put in a Suggestion for Purchase and we will try to purchase the title for GVPL Library To Go.     Help     FAQs

Alternative Free eBook Sources

Free section of online eBook stores

Online eBookstores like Kobo, Kindle, and Sony, will have a free section that includes classics, but will also have newer free content by less well-known authors and novellas by better-known authors.

Project Gutenberg Canada

eBooks that are in the Canadian public domain. They are largely classics or historical works, including early children’s books.

Baen Free Library

Science fiction/fantasy publisher who voluntarily makes a selection of the titles available as free eBooks.

Open Library

Over 1 million eBooks browsable by author, subject, or list. Mainly 20th century titles, includes all of Project Gutenberg’s titles along with hundreds of thousands of others as well as talking books in Daisy format for people with print disabilities.

Google Books

Nearly 2 million free ebooks that are in the public domain. Try their ‘Free Literary Classics’ shelf for some of the most popular free classics.


Harlequin’s eBook site allows you to download 18 titles for free, although you are requested to fill in a short survey


Includes free and for sale titles, fiction and non-fiction. Many Smashwords authors have been previously published in print through mainstream publishers.

Cambridge Digital Library

For something more esoteric, including Sir Isaac Newton’s Papers, Islamic Manuscripts; or access Digital Image Collection links to the Gutenberg Bible, among other interesting items.

Books on the Knob (blog)

A mixed bag of bargain books, free eBooks and book reviews. Also has tips, daily deals, coupon codes and low priced bundles.


A subset of Project Gutenberg, with more than 29,000 free eBooks for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and most other ereaders.

10 Pinterest Boards for eBook Fans

Pinterest, which lets users create virtual “pinboards” by pinning images of their favorite things, has a host of pages dedicated to eBooks.

GVPL Library To Go & BC Library2go FAQs

What is the difference between GVPL Library To Go and BC Library2go?

GVPL Library To Go is a collection of eBooks and downloadable audiobooks hosted by Overdrive Inc. Titles are chosen by GVPL librarians and available exclusively to residents of the Greater Victoria Public Library service area.

BC Library2go is a collection of eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, also hosted by Overdrive Inc. Titles are available to members of the BC Libraries Cooperative. A committee of librarians from participating BC public libraries chooses the titles.

In BC Library2go, why do some titles display the message: “This title is not available to all member libraries. If needed, please check your local library’s collection”?

BC Library2go was an introductory service that allowed public libraries in BC and their patrons to try out eBook and audiobook lending. In February 2012, GVPL and the other mid- and large-sized libraries had to move to a permanent model, where we have our own collections.

Our access to titles in the BC Library2go collection is limited to titles purchased before April 1, 2012 (when our membership ended). The smaller BC libraries are permitted to continue in the consortium and buy titles, but our patrons are not be able to borrow them because we have not contributed to purchasing them. However, we are purchasing most of these titles as well as others for our collection in GVPL Library to Go.

If GVPL Library to Go doesn’t have the title you want, submit a suggestion for purchase on our website and include “available on BC Library2go” in the comments section. In most cases we should be able to buy the title for our collection, but in some cases the publisher may have changed their mind about selling to libraries.

What devices can eBooks be downloaded to using Library to Go?

See the OverDrive Devices page for profiles of compatible devices.

Which eBook formats are best for what devices?

Adobe EPUB eBook, Adobe PDF eBook and other formats are explained on OverDrive’s main Help page. The additional software required to read these formats is also explained there, with download links. In general, Adobe EPUB format is used across the largest range of different eBook reader devices and is becoming the most prominent format.

How do I get an eBook onto my device?

For complete instructions, refer to GVPL Library To Go’s Digital Help page.  As detailed in this guide, you will need to download, install and activate free software, and then you will be able to check out, download and read.

Can I download an eBook to a Kobo I have borrowed from the library?

We hope you will consider this! You can visit our GVPL Library To Go catalogue to review eBook titles for download and transfer. HOWEVER, if you download any titles from our Overdrive catalogue, the current tiles purchased and provided by the Library will be erased during that process, in which case you will not have access to them. In order to transfer downloaded eBooks to your Kobo, you require:

What are the borrowing policies such as how many books can I have at once, and how long can I keep them?

For complete information about GVPL Library To Go borrowing policies, see Library To Go – Help – Library Lending Policies .

For complete information about BC Library2go borrowing policies, see Help – Policies & Procedures – Borrowing Help.

It looks like there are long waits for most of the eBooks and audiobooks. Why?

Just like with traditional books, the library purchases each copy (or in the case of eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, licenses the rights to each copy), so that the writers and publishers are fairly compensated for their work. We maintain a commitment to purchasing more copies of popular items and will add extra copies for titles with long waits.

In the meantime, consider browsing what is currently available.

  • On the main GVPL Library to Go page, look for the Basic Search box
  • Click on the “Expanded Search” option
  • Leave all search criteria blank except for Format
  • Using the Format drop down menu, choose the best format for your device: Adobe EPUB eBook, Adobe PDF eBook (most devices use Adobe EPUB eBook)
  • Select “only show titles with copies available”
  • Click the “Go” button to start the search
  • All the titles returned will be available to you right now


What is the difference between WMA audiobooks and MP3 audiobooks?

WMA audiobooks are digitally-protected audiobook titles available for download in the Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. WMA audiobooks are about half the file size of MP3 audiobooks but maintain the same level of audio quality.  For more information see GVPL Library To Go’s What are WMA & MP3 audiobooks? .

What devices can eAudiobooks be downloaded to using Library to Go?

OverDrive WMA and MP3 Audiobooks are generally compatible with your personal computer and many portable devices that support DRM-protected WMA files encoded at a bit rate of 32kbps, including iPad, iPhone, iPod, and selected MP3 players produced by Motorola, Zen, Sansa and many others. For a list of supported devices, click here.

How do I get an eAudiobook onto my device?

For complete instructions, refer to GVPL Library To Go’s Digital Help page.  As detailed in this guide, you will need to download, install and activate free software, and then you will be able to check out, download and listen.

TumbleBooks & TumbleBookCloud FAQs

What is Tumblebooks?

TumbleBooks began as a database of animated picture books for children and soon expanded to novels and plays, including classics, with sound, music and narration.  While the ebooks can be read online, they can also be listened to as they are read aloud. They are not downloadable to devices.

What is the difference between Tumblebooks and TumbleBookCloud?

TumbleBookCloud (formerly called TumbleReadables) is the ebook component of TumbleBooks.  It is an online collection of read-along titles for elementary, middle and high school students which features adjustable online text and complete audio narration.  Sentences are highlighted as they are read, and the pages turn automatically.  The collection includes chapter books, early readers, teen novels, classics of American and English literature and more.

Do I need any special equipment or device?

Yes, TumbleBookCloud requires Adobe Flash Player.

AudioBookCloud FAQs  

What is AudioBookCloud?

AudioBookCloud is a database of streaming audiobooks for all ages. After accessing the site with your library card and password, you can listen online to audio books in many different categories. These books are always available, never on hold, and need not be downloaded.  You can simply browse, click and listen.

What kinds of audiobooks can I listen to on AudioBookCloud?

The site includes contemporary genre fiction for adults such as mysteries & suspense, historical fiction, romance, westerns, science fiction, classics and non-fiction. Plays, including Shakespeare, are part of the collection.  Children’s and teen books, and Spanish titles—generally translations of English or American classics– are also available.

Is AudioBookCloud configured for mobile devices?

Yes. A mobile-specific feature has been added and will facilitate your mobile access. Just click on the AudioBookCloud link and you will be automatically redirected to AudioBookCloud’s mobile-friendly site.

Can I download audiobooks from this site?

No. AudioBookCloud is a streaming service .You will need an Internet connection.