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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! Fill out the suggestion form and we’ll consider your request. If it's available and 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 in the comments section. 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. eResources means electronic resources.
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:
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.
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 online through your internet browser or download to read offline (you will need some specific software to open the ePub file, e.g. Adobe Digital Editions). Indyreads also has software that gives you the same user-experience as the app. Download it here.
Q. How many eBooks and eAudiobooks can I borrow at a time and for how long?
Each platform is different:
Q. Will my items be overdue if I don't return them on time?
Digital eBooks and eAudio get returned automatically on time so you never need to worry (there are no late fines anyway). If you do finish a book early, though, do return it in case someone is waiting.
Q. How do I renew my eBook/eAudiobook?
Each platform will give you the option to Renew when there are a few days left - the button may not appear until then. If someone is waiting for the item, you may be prompted to add a new Hold instead, where you will go back into the queue once the item gets returned from your account (hint: in Libby, the Renew and Return button is under 'Manage Loan').
If you are reading your eBook offline on your computer (e.g. using Adobe Digital Editions), you will need to go back to the eBook platform to renew, and then download a new ePub file to open in Adobe Digital Editions, which will remain available until the new return date.
Q. How do I find an eBook/eAudiobook? Can I search the catalogue?
A. Not yet. At the moment, you'll need to search each platform individually. For a bit of guidance of where to start:
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. Are there age restrictions or filters for eBooks, eAudiobooks or eMovies?
The best way to keep your children's eyes safe from anything you don't want them to see is to monitor them when they use devices. eBooks and eAudio don't have restrictions, but you can use the filters and preferences to narrow search results to age-appropriate content. Beamafilm does have a feature to restrict - there is always a warning for any content 15 or 18+, and you can create a separate password to only display younger content.
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.
Q. Can I browse Beamafilm without an account?
A. No, you do need an acount to see the titles available. It is free to set up, just make sure your password is unique to ensure your data stays secure.
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
, 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. We subscribe to the Sydney Morning Herald - access the latest in the library, or older (1955-1995) through the library catalogue. You can also access several major newspapers remotely through the State Library NSW eResources, 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.
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.
Q. Can I access Ancestry and Find My Past at home?
Unfortunately not. The providers have specific access requirements so they can only be accessed in the library. Do bring a USB so that you can save any of your research to take home.
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. I was using LinkedIn Learning but then had to get a new library card. How can I get my progress and certificates back?
A. Unfortunately, there is no facility to merge your old and new account in LinkedIn Learning, and your old card will no longer work.
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.