Help and FAQs

Help and FAQs
Scrabble tiles reading 'FAQ'
Library Services

Need help with any of the resources in our eLibrary? 

Contact us via the online form, choosing ‘eLibrary’ at the Library Location question.

Call or visit your local branch to speak to one of our staff members.


Q. Can I use the eLibrary without a library card/being a member?

A. Most of the eResources require you to enter your library card number. You can become a member for free by visiting your local CBCity Library and bringing your ID and proof of address. You can also join online and receive a temporary number – this will give you access to our eLibrary straight away. And as long as you keep using the eLibrary, your online membership number will never expire!

Q. Can I make suggestions for purchase of titles or types of eResources?

A. Sure you can! Contact us  and we’ll consider your request. If we agree that it’s something that will benefit our customers, we’ll do our best to get hold of it. Just let us know if your preference is for eBook or eAudiobook. Keep an eye out to see if it appears in BorrowBox or Libby.  

Q. Which browser should I use with the eLibrary?

A. Most browsers should be fine, except for Internet Explorer! Make sure you have the latest version of any other browser (e.g. Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari). You can also use the browser on your phone or tablet to access our eLibrary.

Q. What does the "e" stand for?

Whenever you see an "e" before a word (e.g. e-mail), it just means "electronic". So the eLibrary is the electronic, or digital, library. 

Q. I'm having trouble with an eResource e.g. it's not loading properly, loading slowly, not displaying everything correctly, etc.

 A. When things aren't working properly, there are a few things you can check and do to make it work.

  • Check your internet connection;
  • Make sure you have the latest version of the browser or app - if not, update it, or uninstall and reinstall it;
  • Make sure you have plenty of available space on your device. If it is nearly full, try uninstalling apps/software that you don't use anymore and backing up your files (e.g. photos) and storing them on a device with more space. Also, if you have lots of apps/software/tabs open, this can also slow things down;
  • Log out and log back in again;
  • Close the window or app and open it to try again;
  •  Restart your device completely (use the shutdown feature).
  • Try clearing your cache (find instructions for your device here).

If these things don't resolve the issue, please get in touch, as the provider may have something wrong on their end. We can contact them to work out a solution.

eBooks and eAudio

Q. How do I download an eBook/eAudiobook?

A. We have 3 platforms that give you access to eBooks and eAudio:

You can download the app for each onto your smartphone or tablet (IOS or Android).  Enter your library card number and password (your date of birth). Then browse or search for a book you want to read. Tap the borrow button to add it to your shelf. Make sure you are connected to wifi to download the title and you're ready to go!

You can read titles through your internet browser with Libby and Indyreads, or download to read offline using Borrowbox and Indyreads. You will need some specific software to open the file and read them, e.g. Adobe Digital Editions. Indyreads also has software that gives you the same user-experience as the app. Download it here.

Q. Can I use the eReading platforms on my Kindle?

A. Unfortunately, no. You can use them on your browser, or by downloading the apps on your smartphone or tablet (IOS or Android). However, Libby is compatible with Kobo - instructions can be found here

Q. I can’t get into my account – it won’t accept my username (library card) and password (date of birth).

A. Make sure you are typing it correctly! Your password is your date of birth written as ddmmyy. But otherwise, contact your local library as there may be something wrong with your card (e.g. overdue item, expired membership, or if you have recently replaced your card). Fixing this should restore access to all the eResources.

Q. The eBook I want to read won’t download/open on my device.

A. Check that you have enough space in your device; some of the files (especially magazines, picture eBooks and non-fiction eBooks with lots of pictures) are quite big. But there may also be something wrong with the file. Please Contact us with your library card number, the title of the eBook, and some screenshots (if possible, these are very helpful!) and we will follow it up for you.

Q. Why do eBooks have a limit of one borrower? Shouldn’t it be available to more if it’s just a download?

A. Publishers generally only allow one person per title, just like physical copies. Depending on the demand for a title (i.e. how many people have placed holds/made reserves), we may purchase extra copies. But more and more publishers, especially independent publishers (e.g. on Indyreads, the Available Now collection) are making their titles available to multiple users at a time. Libby also has quite a few titles that are available for multiple users.

Q. There aren’t any/many titles available in my home language. Will you be adding more languages other than English?

A. You can find some titles in our community languages on Indyreads (Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian),  and Libby now has some of our major languages (Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Greek and Bengali).  We are trying to add more titles in other languages, so if you have suggestions for what we could get, please tell us. We value your judgement because you know what you like to read.

Q. Why are some series incomplete?

A. For eAudiobooks, we might be still in the process of adding titles to the collection. Many eBooks have licenses that expire after a couple of years (this is often what publishers provide to libraries) and it can be expensive to upkeep these titles when interest wanes after a few years. If there is a series you are trying to read, contact us and we might be able to add more titles for you. For new releases, sometimes the publisher will not make the eBook or eAudiobook available immediately, so we might have to wait a couple of months.


Q. Does Beamafilm have an app?

A. Yes it does – it is free to download on IOS and Android. Connect your device to your TV to watch movies on a bigger screen.

EMagazines, eNewspapers, eComics

Q. Do you have the latest eMagazines or do we have to wait for them to become digital?

A. We have the latest! They are available on the day of release of the printed version. There are several thousand magazines on Libby , so chances are you will find the title you are looking for—or a similar one. 

Q. I downloaded an eMagazine but it won’t open/crashes/looks funny when I open it.

A. The eMagazines are very large files, so you need quite a bit of space on your device to use them. Sometimes a file may be corrupt, so please let us know which title you’re having trouble with and we will follow it up. Sometimes if an eMagazine looks weird, you can choose the “read article” button at the bottom of the app screen and this will display it in an easy-read format.

Q. Can I read newspapers online?

A. You can access several major newspapers online (e.g. Sydney Morning Herald) through the State Library NSW eResources (just type the newspaper name into the search box), through Proquest eLibrary, or Gale OneFile News

Note: when you log in to Proquest eLibrary with your library card, choose ProQuest Platform under "Search multiple databases", click Publications (at the top), and search the newspaper under “Publication Search.” If you get too many results, you can choose “newspapers” on the left-hand side bar.  Or use Gale OneFile News, search Publications, and search the title. 

Reference and encyclopaedias

Q. What is an encyclopaedia?

A. Encyclopaedias are a trustworthy source of information, which are different to search engines like Google. An encyclopaedia is a reference book, or set of books, that contains authoritative information about lots of subjects, in  alphabetical order. It takes a lot of paper to create an encyclopaedia, and lots of shelf space to store them, so they are no longer printed.  An encyclopaedia can be your first stop to find a bit of information about a lot of topics and get you started to look for more specific information. Our online encyclopaedias (World Book and Britannica) are highly trusted sources and can even give you citations to add to your assignments. They also have some really cool features like interactive maps, timelines, images and games.

Q. Will you help me with my assignment?

A. We can give you advice on how to choose sources, do searches, and find the right type of information, including some information on how to write reports, essays and how to not plagiarise. We also have  homework help tutors  at some of our branches who can help with your assignments. Feel free to email us, we love helping people find what they’re looking for!

Q. Do I need a State Library of NSW card to access their eResources?

A. No, you can use your CBCity library card! The State Library accepts all NSW public library memberships to access their online resources. 


Q. I was logged into a database, but later I tried to click something and it showed an error message or asked me to choose which database I want to use.

A. Some of the databases time out after about ten minutes of inactivity, so if you’ve left to have lunch or got distracted, you probably just have to close the window and start again – this should give you access again. If this doesn’t work, there may be something wrong on the database’s end, so please contact us.

Q. Does the PowerSearch search everything in the eLibrary?

A. The Gale PowerSearch button searches just the databases by Gale - which covers all the information subjects you could think of. To search for eBooks and eAudiobooks, you'll need to check out each of our eReader platforms.

Online courses

Q. Do I get a certificate for finishing a course?

A. Most of the courses aren’t certified, but you may receive a token certificate to show that you have completed some learning about a topic.  Universal Class also offers Continuing Education Credits.


Q. Where can I get free legal advice?

A. You can find lots of useful information on State Library NSW Find Legal Answers. Scroll down to the “Getting Help” section to find links to contact details of legal professionals who you can talk to.