How to check out free e-books with BYU OverDrive

A student sits by her books in the library. Redshelf and the recently expanded OverDrive eBooks service is one of a myriad ways that Harold B. Lee Library is responding to technological advancements and increasing demand for digital services. (Maddi Dayton.)
A student sits by her books in the library. RedShelf and the recently expanded OverDrive e-book service are ways that Harold B. Lee Library is responding to technological advancements and increasing demand for digital services. (Maddi Dayton.)

OverDrive is an audiobook and e-book rental service offered to BYU students by the Harold B. Lee Library where students can borrow up to three e-books per week on any digital device.

Popular titles from the growing online library include “Lord of the Flies” and “The Hobbit” as well as works of non-fiction like Elizabeth Smart’s “My Story” and “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell.

BYU also recently partnered with RedShelf, a company committed to providing students with digital textbooks in addition to faculty created course materials at an affordable price.

Students can utilize both of these BYU-exclusive opportunities, OverDrive and RedShelf, in order to easily access all of their books, both recreational and course-related, on any of their digital devices.

1. Visit the BYU OverDrive site at

Students sign in by selecting Brigham Young University and entering their net ID and password. Samples of both audiobooks and text are available. Books can be downloaded in either MP3 or e-book form. Titles can be held in the user’s “bookshelf” for up to 14 days before downloading them to a device. Holds may be placed on up to 15 books that are unavailable. Students can access all of the titles on a phone, tablet, and laptop free of charge.

2. Course-required content can also be accessed digitally through RedShelf for BYU

RedShelf offers a unique opportunity to access not only e-textbooks but also course content created by faculty. Courses at BYU usually offer print and digital versions of course packets.

Shannon Godfrey, Sales & Marketing Director at RedShelf, said, “By offering both a print and digital version of the course packet, students and faculty can take advantage of the physical version while having access to digital anywhere anytime from any internet-enabled device. If a student forgot their physical course packet at home they could easily read it from their device.”

3. All of RedShelf’s e-textbook titles can be viewed at their website

Digital textbooks can be accessed through any of students’ RedShelf enabled digital devices. Students sign in using an existing BYU Store account or by creating a new one with their email address. Books can be searched by title, author, and/or ISBN number.

Many e-books can also be rented as well as purchased through this website. “The e-textbooks available at the BYU Bookstore offer students up to 60 percent in comparison to traditional print textbooks,” Shannon Godfrey said. “When accessing the e-Textbooks students could take advantage of academic focused annotations such as: highlighting , bookmarking , entering text, defining terms, note-taking and keyword search.”

Visit and to access all e-books for sale and rent.

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