eBooks FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Books

Does Thrall offer eBooks?
Yes! We offer both eBooks and eAudioBooks. How much do they cost? eBooks available through our library system (RCLS) are free! What do I need to get eBooks? A computer with Internet access and an active library card from Thrall or any RCLS (Ramapo Catskill Library System) library. You must install free software from the eBooks website (efiles.rcls.org) on your personal computer or smart phone.
Can I download eBooks from Thrall computers?
No. You must use your own computer or smart phone to connect directly to the eBooks website (efiles.rcls.org) to download eBooks. Should I get an eReader? You do not need an eReader to enjoy RCLS eBooks: all you need is a computer or smart phone that supports the software required for eBooks access.
Which eReader should I get?
You can go to www.Overdrive.com (the home page of the eBook provider for RCLS) and click on the Explore Compatible Devices link to determine which eReaders are said to work with RCLS eBooks. From there, you should visit each eReader's product manufacturer website to learn of each eReader's abilities or limitations before deciding which one to buy.
How do I login to eBooks?
Go to efiles.rcls.org, click My eAccount, then enter your library card number (without spaces) and your PIN (usually the last four digits of your telephone number). If you cannot login, please contact our Circulation Department (341-5456) to determine if your library account is active, up-to-date, and problem-free.
Which format should I get?
This depends on two things: first, what kind of book do you want? One to read on a screen or one to listen to? Second, what eBook or audio file formats your computer, eReader, or smart phone support. Each eBook's item page lists the format(s) available for that title. For further guidance, please visit www.Overdrive.com for their list of Compatible Devices.
Can I renew an eBook?
No, but you can download it again if it becomes available.
Are there any late fines?
No. eBooks become inaccessible after your loan period expires.
Can I keep the eBooks I get?
No. Electronic books provided by RCLS are accessible only for the loan period assigned to those items when you check them out. Why not? Because eBooks are just like any other library item in that they are copyrighted. RCLS eBooks are also protected by DRM ("Digital Rights Management"), which restricts how long and in what ways eBook files can be accessed.
Can I delete eBook files?
Yes. eBooks can be safely deleted from your eReader, personal computer, or smart phone at any time. Please consult your device's instruction manual for further guidance on deleting downloads.
How do I transfer an eBook?
Only certain eBooks and eAudioBooks can be transferred to supported eReaders, computers, portable media (MP3) players, smart phones, or burned CDs. Near the bottom of each eBook's item page you will see a Digital Rights Information section: this lets you know what you can do with each title. Use this, along with the Plays On list (near the top of that item's page) to determine if you can transfer your eBook or eAudioBook from your computer to a supported eReader, portable media (MP3) player, or CD.
Why aren't more titles available?
eBooks must be purchased by libraries throughout the RCLS system, and electronic editions can be just as expensive as regular books. Due to issues including higher-than-print prices, certain titles being unavailable to libraries, and higher demand for print materials, fewer eBook editions are available.
How do I reserve an eBook?
When you find an eBook you would like to request, please click the Place a Request link on that item's page.
What about other eBooks?
There are many eBook providers beyond Overdrive / RCLS. Some are free, others require purchasing and special software of their own. For some free eBook providers, please visit our Booklovers guide. Middletown Thrall Library also offers its members free access to its Virtual Reference Library).

The VRL contains excellent and always-available online reference works and specialized encyclopedias.

Warning: If you want to attempt to search the Web for additional eBooks, please be aware that almost all modern/contemporary eBooks (unless otherwise and authoritatively stated to be in the public domain) are still subject to copyright laws and should not be downloaded unless you can certify they are provided legally.
Are eBooks bad for libraries?
Not at all! Thrall has offered electronic books for years, along with books and other materials in many other formats (print, CD, digital "Playaways," microfilm and microfiche, cassettes, and more). eBooks are simply another media format. Based on feedback from our many library users, eBooks have both their advantages and drawbacks, depending on a person's lifestyle and reading preferences - such as whether you prefer the portability of eBooks or the ease and greater availability of books in print.

We encourage you to try eBooks - especially since this is a free service - and discover what works best for you. Since many books will not be available as eBooks, we also want to encourage you to continue exploring and enjoying the growing number of great print materials and reference works available to you at Thrall.

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