Getting started with Bridges


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What is Bridges?

Bridges: is the eBook and audiobook buying consortium for  Iowa public libraries . It is a contracted service with OverDrive, Inc.

With your Charles City Library Card you can borrow and enjoy free eBooks and audiobooks. All you need to get started is an Internet connection, your library card and something to read or listen to the books on.

Most mobile devices work will work with Bridges. There is an App that you can download to your device that makes it easy. Learn about the Overdrive App here.

Getting Started

1)    Visit Bridges

You may use Bridges two different ways.

  • Using your computer’s browser visit our catalog, log in and click on Bridges in the list of Electronic Resources Available to Logged-In Users.
  • Using the OverDrive's app  on your mobile device. The first time you will need to set up your library and enter in your library card number and phone number. (if you check the Remember my log in box you shouldn’t have to reenter it every time.


2)   Browse for titles

  • You can search for specific books or authors but can also browse specific collections.
  • The Book and Headphone icons will tell you whether a book is a eBook or Audiobook. If the icon is grayed out, this indicates that the book is checked out.
  • You may also choose to only see the books Available Now by checking the box.
ebook, audio or checked out

3) Borrow

If you are already signed in to Bridges, you may borrow your selected books now. Titles you've borrowed will appear on your Bookshelf under your Account.


4) Download or Read online

On your Bookshelf, you'll find options for enjoying each borrowed title,  Download in various formats (available for eBooks and audiobooks). Read (read an eBook in your browser using OverDrive Read  or Listen (listen to an audiobook in your browser).

download or read online

Here are several different options to read or listen to the books in Bridges.

  • Listen or Read in the browser is great if you are going to always have an Internet connection and don’t want to be bothered with waiting for a download. To choose this option, just click on the Read or Listen button
  • Downloading allows you to have access to your book when you are not connected to the Internet.  In the following instructions we will give some of the more typical situations for downloading.


If you need more help don’t hesitate to ask the library staff!

Instructions for Devices most commonly used with Bridges


On a Mobile Device (Android, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire or Nook tablet)

1)    In your store where you purchase apps, find the Overdrive App. It is free. Go ahead and download it.

2)    Find our library by entering in your zip code, we are part of Bridges. Click on Bridges. You will be prompted to sign in. You will need to give your library card number and phone number.

3)    Browse and select books that you want. Click on Borrow to check out.

4)    Once books are checked out. They will go to your Account on your bookshelf.

5)    From there you may download.

a)    Most eBooks are in both Kindle and ePub formats. You may download and read and ePub in the Overdrive App. Kindle books are for reading on a Kindle or Kindle Reading App. Not all books are available in the Kindle format.

b)    All audiobooks are MP3 and should be downloaded and listened to on the Overdrive App.

On a Kindle Reader

1)      Use a computer browser to access Bridges (see step #1 Getting Started)

2)      Check out your eBooks. Make sure that they are available in Kindle format. If you accidentally borrow one that is not a Kindle format, simple click return before downloading.

3)      In the download screen, choose Kindle. 

a)    When you hit the confirm button, a new Internet browser window will open to Amazon. If this is your home computer and you use Amazon, you should be already logged in. (If on a public or shared computer, open Amazon first and sign on so it knows who you are)

b)    Your Amazon page will show the eBook with the message, Get Library Book and deliver to. Make sure the destination is correct then Click Get Library Book..

c)   You will then go to a page where it talks about the book being downloaded the next time your device syncs. (If you have a really old Kindle, you may have the option of downloading it to the computer and moving it over manually by plugging your device into the computer.)


Old Nooks and other eReaders (not Kindles or tablets)

1)      Use a computer browser to access Bridges (see step #1 Getting Started)

2)      Once on the Bridges page, click on the Help icon and then Applications.

3)      Click on Adobe Digital Editions and download the software that fits your compute. (It is free).

4)      You will be required to set up an account with Adobe and register your reader.

5)      Check out your eBooks.

6)      In the download screen, choose ePub.

7)      Download the books to Adobe Digital Editions.

8)      Plug your reader into your computer.

9)      Transfer your book from the computer to your reader using Adobe Digital Editions.

MP3 players (for Audiobooks)

1)      Use a computer to access Bridges

2)      Once on the Bridges page, click on the Help icon and then Applications.

3)      Choose Overdrive Media Console. (this is free)

4)      Download this to your computer.

5)      Back in Bridges, check out some audio books and download them to your computer. If prompted, have them open in the Overdrive Media Console.

6)      Once downloaded plug in your MP3 player and transfer the books using the transfer feature or you may listen to them on your computer.